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Identifying interested parties when challenging a will

When Florida residents make a will, they may think they left clear directions for how their assets are to be distributed. However, people who feel they were left out or otherwise unfairly excluded may be able to contest the will when it goes to probate court. They may argue that they were entitled to a portion of the estate or that the testator was coerced or unduly influenced by others. In order to move forward with a will challenge in probate court, it is important to identify the interested parties in this type of litigation.

The first group of interested parties in a will challenge are all of the people and entities, including charities, listed in the will itself. All of these parties should receive notice of any type of probate litigation, because they have the right to an opportunity to participate in the case if they choose to do so. Not all named parties may decide to participate, depending on their relationship to the will and its testator or the subject of the litigation.

However, named beneficiaries and others listed in the will are not the only interested parties in probate litigation. All of the family members and potential beneficiaries of the decedent are also potentially interested parties. In addition, if the current will replaced a previous document, all of the beneficiaries listed in that past valid will could also be interested parties with standing to be heard in probate court.

When a loved one passes away, people may not want to think about challenging the will in court. However, circumstances or undue influence may make probate litigation a necessity. An attorney can work with people contesting a will to determine interested parties and move forward with a case.

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