Experienced Florida Attorney Litigates Probate Disputes
Dedicated lawyer represents clients during inheritance conflicts
When a person passes away, their estate goes through a court-supervised process called probate administration which involves the identifying, gathering and distribution of the assets and liabilities of the estate. If a person dies “intestate”, that means they did not have a valid Last Will and Testament. In that situation, the court must first identify the statutory heirs. If the person died with a valid Last Will and Testament, the heirs have been named and the will is submitted to the court to be probated. Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. advocates on behalf of clients who want to ensure that property and wealth are handled in accordance with the desires and instructions of the deceased. If you suspect that a will is fraudulent or invalid, or that an estate is being mismanaged, you have a right to seek remedy in court. Similarly, Personal Representatives are entitled to defend themselves against accusations of incompetence or unlawful conduct. Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. represents beneficiaries and Personal Representatives in estate litigation, seeking favorable resolutions to disputes.
Informed Florida attorney guides clients through will challenges
There are several bases for challenging a will. Whether you are alleging misconduct or accused of it, it is important to understand the legal reasons a will may be challenged:
- Lack of Proper Formalities — Florida law requires that wills be signed by the testator, witnessed by two witnesses who must also sign the will and be notarized. If the proper formalities for execution of the will are not met, the will can be challenged.
- Lack of capacity — This ground alleges that the person who signed the will (the “testator”), was not of sound mind such that he or she was unable to understand the contents of the will at the time the will was created.
- Undue influence — A will might be invalid if a person with access to and power over the testator used emotional manipulation to gain special consideration in the will.
- Fraud — This ground alleges that the person who signed the will was deceived about the contents of the document at the time it was drawn up.
Many probate disputes stem from suspicions that a particular individual took advantage of the deceased and was included in the will to the detriment of the rightful heirs. While the court looks harshly on elder exploitation, all challenges must be supported by reliable evidence. Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. will represent your interests in a will contest.
Accomplished counselor helps with claims of Personal Representative misconduct
Personal Representatives have a fiduciary duty to protect and preserve the assets of an estate according to the wishes of the decedent, for the benefit of interested persons including beneficiaries and creditors. The fiduciary must act in total accordance with the terms of the will so that assets are not lost due to waste, fraud, mis-allocation or mismanagement. Beneficiaries may challenge alleged misconduct and demand a full account of a fiduciary’s actions. Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. has experience on both sides of probate controversies.
Contact an established Florida probate litigation firm
Probate conflicts can be damaging if they are not managed by experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. provides capable representation for beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Call 863-304-8016 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.