Proper probate administration is the best way to ensure that a decedent’s property moves to the correct heirs after their death. Probate is also your only opportunity to challenge the authenticity of a will or to ask a court to evaluate the actions of an estate’s administrator. Each of these actions can raise complex legal questions that are vital to protecting your legal rights.
A Coral Gables estate litigation lawyer can help when legal action becomes necessary to administer an estate properly. Whether you are looking to challenge a will, hold an estate administrator liable for their poor handling of an estate, or need to defend against these allegations, a trustworthy probate attorney is ready to represent your interests.
Evaluating the Validity of Wills
A major part of the probate process deals with the interpretation and authentication of a decedent’s will. In short, a will is supposed to be an official recording of a decedent’s wishes concerning which parties will receive their assets after their death. Because of the immense value of assets that may be involved in these transactions, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise concerning the contents of a will.
According to Florida Statute § 732.5165, a court must invalidate a will if it becomes clear that this document is the product of fraud, duress, a mistake, or undue influence. However, courts will not act to evaluate wills in this manner on their own. Instead, any interested party may file a formal petition with a court to initiate a hearing. An estate litigation attorney with headquarters in Coral Gables is prepared to contest the validity of a will or defend the document on behalf of parties who would stand to inherit, should the will remain in effect.
Evaluating the Actions of Estate Administrators
Even if a probate court accepts a will as being authentic, other legal challenges may arise related to the administration of an estate. All estates must have an estate administrator in place who takes temporary possession of estate property, pays all legitimate creditors, and distributes the remaining assets to the named heirs.
Under state law, administrators have a duty to maintain estate property with maximum value and fulfill their roles with only the benefit of the estate in mind. More specifically, Fla. Stat. § 733.602 says that these parties are fiduciaries with a legal obligation to act only in the interests of the estate and its heirs.
An estate litigation lawyer in Coral Gables can evaluate the actions of estate administrators to determine if they meet this standard. If not, they could ask a probate court to remove this party from the position or even file separate lawsuits that seek out compensation for all resulting damages. Similarly, they are prepared to represent estate administrators when they are facing allegations of malfeasance.
Reach Out to a Coral Gables Estate Litigation Attorney Today
The probate process can be a contentious experience involving heirs, family members, and estate administrators. In some cases, it may be necessary to demand compensation through settlements or lawsuits related to the conduct of administrators. In other situations, you may want to contest the validity of a will or convince a court to adopt this document if it is a copy of the original will.
A Coral Gables estate litigation lawyer is ready to provide essential support. Whether you are asking a court to take a specific action or need to defend your own choices, they are ready to explain the law and represent your interests. Give us a call now to set up a free consultation.