Lawsuits can be filed for a variety of reasons after someone has passed away – most people know about lawsuits where someone tries to revoke a will because of things like undue influence upon the decedent or because of lack of mental capacity at the time that the will was drafted and signed.
Actions are filed every month in Broward County and elsewhere in Florida where someone files a formal challenge to a Last Will and Testament because, they argue, the person lacked the mental capacity to sign the Will or because an evildoer spent time and effort to exert undue influence on the decedent so a valid Will has been signed, but the decedent’s true intent has been swayed.
However, Florida probate lawsuits can be based on many other things besides these types of will contests. For example, the Fort Lauderdale probate judges often hear cases where claims are made that the Last Will and Testament fails not because of wrongdoing or incapacity but instead because of procedure: the will may lack the right signatures or the will document may not have the proper witnesses.
If a Last Will and Testament does not jive with the legal requirements set out in the Florida Statutes, then this document cannot be successfully probated as a valid, legally binding document in a Florida probate court. (This is why it is very important to make sure your will is valid under Florida law before your death, when your loved ones will have to deal with any legal failures of the document.)
Probate Lawsuits and Trials over Assets or Dispositions in the Last Will & Testament
In addition to challenging the will as a whole, Florida probate courts often see lawsuits filed that seek to set aside a part of the will. For instance, a Florida probate lawsuit may be filed to recover estate assets from the possession and control of others who have no legal right to the property. Florida probate litigation can also involve challenges to a particular distribution such as an allegation of elder abuse by a caretaker who is now a beneficiary or to distributing assets to a beneficiary who had been misusing a power of attorney for their personal benefit before the decedent’s passing.
Parties to a Probate Lawsuit
Probate courtrooms can be battlefields where personal representatives of the estate (the executor or executrix), beneficiaries under the will (or wills), family members, friends, and potential heirs (if the wills are found invalid) are all in conflict. Few kinds of legal fights bring with them the kind of fervor and emotional angst that probate lawsuits do: emotions often run high in these cases.
Accordingly, it is important to have an experienced and compassionate probate trial lawyer in any probate controversy – whether or not the case actually ends up in a probate court trial or if it is a matter that can be successfully negotiated and resolved among the parties without the need for a jury to be the decision maker.
How a Florida Probate Lawyer Can Help
Larry Tolchinsky is a Florida probate lawyer with over 20 years’ experience representing clients in Florida probate courts and helping parties to all sorts of probate litigation controversies. As a Florida probate attorney, Larry has represented clients in all sorts of probate lawsuits, such as:
Claims of lack of testamentary capacity (e.g., did the decedent suffer from dementia?)
Challenges to wills based upon undue influence (e.g., did the caretaker manipulate the will?)
Challenges to the appointment of a particular person to be the personal representative
Challenges to creditors’ claims
Determinations of heirship (e.g., adoption, second marriages, etc.)
Lawsuits based upon elder abuse of the decedent prior to death by a beneficiary
Lawsuits asserting abuse of Powers of Attorney by a beneficiary prior to the decedent’s death
Challenges to Probate Accountings
Challenges to proposed probate distributions (e.g., who should get the dog? The car? The boat?)
Who is Larry Tolchinsky?
Larry Tolchinsky lives and works in the Broward County area as a Florida attorney representing clients in need of not only legal expertise and experience but a lawyer who has a considerate understanding of the emotional realities of their situation and its impact upon their daily lives and that of their family.
Florida probate lawyer Larry Tolchinsky has handled all sorts of probate issues from lawsuit fights to complex probate transactions such as management of business interests, debts owed by and to the decedent, and real property issues. Larry represents clients in all sorts of Florida probate matters before Florida probate judges in Broward County and all over the State of Florida in addressing probate issues including:
If you have a question about Florida Probate Lawsuits, including inheritance, will challenges, trust issues, abuses of decedents prior to passing, or property distribution matters or the like, then feel free to give Florida Probate Lawyer Larry Tolchinsky a call for a free consultation.
Do You Have a Question?
Please fill out the “How Can We Help You” form above to ask a question or you can call us at 954-522-0207. We promise to get back to you promptly. Ask now.
Florida lawyers serving those living in the State of Florida including those living in the Miami Dade metroplex and the communities of Broward County, Florida including:
Sunrise | Wilton Manors | Pompano Beach | Tamarac | Coconut Creek | Cooper City | Plantation | Coral Springs | Dania Beach | Davie | Deerfield Beach | Fort Lauderdale | Hillsboro Beach | Lauderdale-by-the-Sea | Lauderdale Lakes | Lauderhill | Lazy Lake | Lighthouse Point | Margate | North Lauderdale | Oakland Park | Parkland | Sea Ranch Lakes | Southwest Ranches | West Park | Weston