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What is a Will Contest and Who Can Contest a Will?

Couple meeting lawyer to contest a legal document such as a will

When a family member dies, there can sometimes be disputes over the validity of the will. This is called a will contest. This can be a difficult time for families, and contesting a will can make a tough situation even more difficult. In a will contest, certain parties to the will may raise an objection to the will, with the idea that it is not conveying the deceased person’s true intentions with their assets. Those contesting the will may make the case that the deceased was incapacitated at the time the will was drawn up, and unable to make clear decisions. Of course, not just anyone can contest a will. According to Florida probate law, only “interested parties” can make the case against a will. And they can only challenge the will for legal reasons. Interested parties are defined to include children, heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right, or claim against, the estate being administered. Those who may challenge a will generally fall into one of three main categories, which are the beneficiaries of a prior will, beneficiaries of a subsequent will, and intestate heirs.

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When is a Will Filed in Probate Court?

After the death of a loved one, there are certain steps that need to be taken in regard to the person’s will to make sure it is probated and that the instructions are carried out. The quicker this is done, the quicker the assets in the will can be distributed. 

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How to Avoid the Probate Process

Senior couple meeting with an estate planning lawyer

Avoiding the probate process may be desirable both for the person who has passed away and for the person’s heirs. It does not have to be a difficult process, as it is easy to ensure your assets are going straight to your heirs while avoiding probate. Here are several ways you can avoid the probate process.

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Estate Planning with No Children

Estate planning with no children

For some people without children, estate planning may not seem necessary. In some cases, people might also think that estate planning is only for the wealthy, and may not apply to them. It may also seem like a stressful endeavor not worth undertaking with no obvious heirs, such as children.

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Estate Planning for Single People

Estate Planning for Single People

For a single person, estate planning may be the last thing on their mind. For that reason, estate planning for a single person can sometimes be challenging. There are many decisions that need to be made, and it is often easier not to think about it, especially if you are single. However, having an estate plan in place can reduce stress for survivors of the single person, and give the single person peace of mind, knowing that things will be taken care of. 

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When will I Need a Life Estate?

when will i need a life estate?

End of life planning is never pleasant, but putting some effort into it now can save yourself and your family many headaches down the road. If you have decided to start end of life planning, you may be surprised at how many options there are, and overwhelmed as to what options are best for you. Today, we will discuss life estates and when you will need one. 

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Estate Planning for Separated Spouses

Elder Couple with Lawyer

Despite the best laid plans, things happen in life, and it doesn’t always go the way we plan. That is often the case when a married couple splits up, and separates. Despite the best intentions, it is sometimes unavoidable, and while the emotional and financial fallout can take a lot of energy, it may be worth looking at how these life changes may impact your estate planning. 

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Pros and Cons of Joint Tenancy

Retitle House

Owning your property with another person is called a joint tenancy. While there are certain benefits to owning a property this way, there are also certain drawbacks. In most cases, a joint tenancy boils down to the property’s right of survivorship. If one owner were to pass away, the other owner would take full control of the property. The co-owners of the property all have a right to use and enjoy the property. 

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What is the Purpose of a Trust in Estate Planning?

Estate Planning

Trusts can play an important role in estate planning for several reasons. If you are looking into estate planning, or are starting the process, it is important to understand what a trust can do for you, and the different types of trusts available. As with anything to do with estate planning, an experienced estate planning attorney at the Mattar Firm who deals in these matters will be able to assist you, and make sure you’re making the decisions best for you. 

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