Protecting Your Estate: Boca Raton Wills Lawyers
Your last will and testament allow you to express your desires regarding the distribution of your assets at the time of your death. For this reason, drafting a solid will is vitally important. The Boca Raton estate planning attorneys at the Walser & Herman Law Firm identifies situations where a will could be contested and our lawyers establish proactive measures to protect your intentions. Florida does not recognize or enforce no-contest clauses, but our estate planning legal team employs a variety of other techniques to guarantee the enforcement of the terms of your will and to protect your estate.
Depending on your individual circumstances, Walser & Herman Law Firm might recommend these actions:
- Document your mental capacity – Through the use of testimonials from doctors we can document that you are in a healthy state of mind to make important decisions.
- Utilize video recording – If needed, we can discus using technology as a means to document important information.
- Draft a revocable living trust – This document is more enforceable than a will (generally).
Reviewing Your Plan
Our attorneys review your non-probate assets when devising your estate plan. For example, if you and your child have a joint bank or brokerage account, this child will control the entire account upon your death, despite anything the will might state. We verify that this is your intention, especially if the joint account is sizable or creates unequal benefits.
Will Contest Proceedings
You may have a valid reason for contesting a will. Our attorneys evaluate your claim and advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights. We then guide you through the will contest process in probate court. Some matters our attorneys discuss with you include:
- Deadline — Because numerous factors determine the deadline for contesting a will, our attorneys recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible. Typically, you have three months to contest the will if you received notice, but can contest the will at any time before completion of probate if you did not receive notice. However, you can take action even after the estate is closed if fraud kept you from contesting the will until after completion of probate.
- Grounds — You cannot contest a will just because you do not like the outcome. You must have legal grounds upon which to base your petition to the court. Grounds may include fraud, undue influence or incapacity.
- Petitioning the court — To initiate a will contest, our lawyers file a petition with the Florida probate court. Although the personal representative continues administering the estate, distribution of assets is stayed until the court makes a decision on the will contest petition.
Upon conclusion of a successful will contest, the court may rule that the entire will is invalid or that certain provisions are invalid. Administration of an estate after the will has been invalidated is governed by the same intestacy laws as had the person died without a will.
Learn More About Will Contests in Florida
Walser & Herman Law Firm protects your will from potential challenge when developing an estate plan for you. Call our Boca Raton main office or our Palm Beach office location at 561.750.1040 to schedule an appointment with our estate planning lawyers.