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Miami Probate Litigation Lawyer

Helping Clients Through Probate Court Matters Involving Disputes and Other Issues

The probate process is often considered one of the most time-consuming and difficult processes to go through in estate law. Many would seek to avoid probate if possible, and some take steps to do just that.

However, in many cases, probate is a necessity after the death of an individual. When someone dies, their will dictates how they want their affairs to be handled, who the named beneficiaries of their estate are, how to distribute estate property (including real property and financial assets), who shall be the personal representative responsible for closing the estate, and more. In most cases, things go off without a hitch. However, there are certain cases where a beneficiary (or someone who believes they should have been a beneficiary) comes forward to dispute some of the language in the estate plan or calls into question the behavior of the responsible fiduciary. In such cases, it may be necessary to consider probate litigation.

The choice to litigate during the probate process should not be taken lightly. Nor should it be pursued without experienced legal representation. If you wish to take legal action, or if you wish to defend against such claims, please contact our Miami law firm to schedule a free initial consultation with our legal team. Our firm, led by attorney Pedro Armando Perez-Roura, has extensive experience representing clients in various estate law matters, including probate litigation. We would be proud to represent your interest in these matters.

Have You Received a Notice of Administration?

Most individuals will not consider probate litigation until after they first receive a notice of administration. This notice alerts all interested parties, including the heirs of the descendant and any potential creditors, of the recent passing and the opening of probate proceedings.

As the recipient of a notice of administration, you have the right to take legal action and dispute the will, trust, or other estate plan document relevant to the probate process. There are several grounds for calling a will into question. However, doing so is not always a simple matter. It is highly recommended that you retain professional legal counsel before proceeding.
Once you have received a notice of administration, you have a limited window of opportunity to take legal action. Don’t delay, contact our law offices today.

What Are Acceptable Grounds to Dispute a Will During the Probate Process?

There are several acceptable grounds for contesting a will. However, you cannot simply contest a will because you are surprised by the contents of the will.

Valid grounds for contesting wills include the following:

  •  Breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Determination of heirs.
  • Elective share litigation.
  • Failure to perform proper accounting.
  • Fraud in the execution of the will.
  • Fraud in the inducement.
  • Invalid will, such as one that was not signed by the testator.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity.
  • Mistake in the execution of the will.
  • Surcharge action.
  • Tortious interference.
  • Undue influence was exerted upon the test theater at the time when they drafted their will.
  •  Will construction.
    Speak with a probate attorney to better understand what acceptable grounds and unacceptable grounds for contesting wills are.

What Are Common Grounds for Contesting a Trust?

Trust disputes are considered more complicated and often turn out to be more expensive to resolve than disputes of wills. Unlike a last will, a trust is not part of the public record and does not go through probate court upon the death of its creator. Trusts are confidential. However, if you are a named beneficiary of the trust, you are entitled to a copy of the legal document.

If you feel that the trustee is not honest with handling the trust, you should contact an attorney immediately after receiving a notice.

Common grounds to challenge a trust in Florida include:

  •  Exerted undue influence.
  •  Mental incapacity.
  • Mistaken execution.
  •  Trust modification.
  • Trust termination.

Can You Take Legal Action Against a Personal Representative?

The fiduciary of an estate (sometimes known as an executor but more commonly referred to as a personal representative in Florida) is responsible for taking the case through the probate process and eventually closing the estate. Personal representatives have a long list of duties and responsibilities to the estate and its beneficiaries, including loyalty, a duty to inform relevant parties, a duty to perform necessary accounting, and a duty to administer the estate prudently.

If a beneficiary believes that a personal representative of the estate has breached their fiduciary duties, then it is possible to hold them legally accountable for doing so. As a beneficiary, you have legal rights, and if those rights are violated due to a breach of fiduciary duty, you should seek legal remedies with the help of an estate litigation attorney.

Who Has the Legal Right to Contest a Last Will?

An individual must have legal standing to challenge a will in Florida. Generally, any individual with a legal interest in the estate may have the right to dispute the language of the will or the behavior of the personal representative. Only living people have the legal right to contest a will. No business entity or charity has this right. Typically, any close family member has the right to file a lawsuit over the handling of estate assets.

Which Parties Are Often Involved in Probate Litigation Cases?

The law says that probate litigation can involve any interested parties in the estate during the probate process.

To be more specific, here are the most common interested parties:

  • A creditor looking to collect a debt.
  •  A named beneficiary who disputes the claims of other beneficiaries in probate litigation.
  •  Friends and family members (like children, parents, and siblings) who believe they were mistakenly disinherited from the will.
  • The personal representative charged with closing the estate.
  •  The surviving spouse of the decedent.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today

Whatever your perspective is in the probate litigation case, be it someone who wishes to contest a will or someone who wishes to defend the will as written, it is vital that you seek professional legal counsel for your probate litigation case.

Our law firm has years of experience representing clients in Miami, Florida, in several different types of estate legal matters. We have the knowledge and compassion to help you through complicated probate litigation matters and have a strong track record of success.

To learn more about our legal services, please contact us to schedule your free case review. You may call us at 305-570-3259.