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What happens when a will is contested

A person in Florida who is not included in the will of a close relative might decide to contest the will. Being cut out of a will is not unusual; it may happen because a new spouse inherits all the assets or for some other reason, but the first step is often to discuss the situation with an attorney.

Contesting a will is a grueling and emotional process. People should be prepared for the fact that there could be lies told about them, and there might be a counter lawsuit. There is likely to be a deposition. This involves the lawyer for the other side asking questions, and the deposition is made into a transcript. Personal and upsetting questions might be asked or insinuations made. For example, a person might be portrayed as only after money and not caring about the relative. The person could be required to testify in court.

It may be necessary to make decisions quickly . This includes the decision to file a lawsuit. However, most cases do not make it to court. It is more likely that they will end in a settlement. A settlement could be accepted because a person believes the case is not as strong as it needs to be, but it might also be accepted if the person is simply tired of fighting.

There are steps that can be taken to make wills less like to be contested. A person who is creating an estate plan and who wishes to leave someone out of the will who expects to get an inheritance might want to talk to an attorney about how to go about doing this. For example, one way might be to specifically say in the estate plan that leaving the person out is deliberate. However, people should be aware that it may be legally difficult to disinherit some family members.

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Kramer A. Litvak, P.A.
226 East Government Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

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