Five Ways To Prevent A Contested Will In Tampa
When a will is filed with the probate court, serious problems can arise that challenge its validity and effectiveness. Our Tampa wills attorney explains common reasons behind will contests in Hillsborough County and how to ensure yours is protected.
Contesting A Will In Tampa
A will provides important guidance in Hillsborough County Probate Court proceedings, conveying your final wishes and preventing problems that could cost your loved ones significant amounts of both time and money. However, even if you put a will in place, it can be contested. This can delay the settlement of your estate for months or even years. Common reasons for contesting a will in Florida include:
- The will was not properly executed. To be valid, your will must conform to all state legal standards.
- You lacked the capacity to make important decisions. This often involves cases where the testator (the person creating the will) suffered from physical or mental illness.
- You were under undue influence or duress. This can happen when a will is created while in a long-term care facility or being provided for by a loved one.
- Accusations of forgery and other acts of fraud: A common reason for contests, these types of accusations can impact your estate and beneficiaries for decades after.
How To Avoid The Risks Of A Will Contest In Florida
Some states allow a no-contest clause to be added to your will. While not foolproof, it can significantly reduce the likelihood that your will is contested. Unfortunately, the Florida Statutes do not provide for this type of clause when creating a will, meaning it is open to being contested by anyone with an interest in your estate.
There are, however, ways to protect yourself and reduce the risks of a will contest in Tampa. Our Tampa wills attorney recommends following these five steps:
- Create a will prior to getting sick. Unexpected events can happen, so create a will as possible. Do not wait until you are older, injured, or suffering from a serious illness before creating this important document.
- Inform loved ones of the content. To avoid potential confusion and misunderstandings, clarify your intentions regarding your will now with loved ones and anyone involved.
- Consult with an experienced attorney. To protect yourself against will contests, get help in creating one from an experienced Tampa wills attorney.
- Update your will regularly. Make sure your will accurately reflects your current property and assets, as well as current relationships among family members.
- Consider creating a living trust. While a trust can be contested the same as a will, it is more private and the process is more complex, which discourages potential challengers.
Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Wills Attorney
At Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., we provide trusted legal guidance in creating a will and updating any existing estate planning documents you have in place. To prevent potential problems that could impact you and your beneficiaries, contact our Tampa wills attorney and request a consultation today.