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Where there's a will, there's a way (to potentially contest it)

It is no secret that a will can be an enormously valuable document. A will can protect a person's kids, assets and various wishes after his or her death and shield family members from lengthy, contentious legal battles. It can also prevent certain parties from receiving money or property the decedent did not want them to have.

However, some wills are not as effective when it comes to achieving these goals. This can happen when there are grounds to contest the will, which means that someone is challenging all or certain parts of it.

Below are some of the more common reasons why you may want to consider contesting a will.

  1. There are multiple different versions.
  2. You have concerns that the testator was not mentally fit at the time of creating the will.
  3. The will was not signed, or there were no witnesses at the time it was signed.
  4. The will contains unenforceable, ambiguous or suspicious terms.
  5. There are signs of coercion or fraud.
  6. The will is inaccurate or incomplete.
  7. The document is not in compliance with Florida state laws.
  8. Someone is attempting to settle the estate in a different state.

If these or other similar circumstances are in place, a person can be justified in contesting a will.

Should you decide to contest a will, be sure you are prepared for what that means. Contesting a will is a legal process that requires time, money and energy to navigate. It can also lead to or exacerbate tension between the parties affected by the will.

However, this does not mean that you should ignore your instincts or any concerns you may have. Making sure a will is valid, accurate and properly administered can be crucial in protecting yourself, your family and in many cases, the wishes of the decedent. If you have questions or concerns about the enforceability of a will, it can be essential that you discuss the situation with an experienced estate attorney who can provide individual guidance on your legal options and rights.

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