Elder Law Attorney | There are a variety of reasons a will can be contested, including fraud, forgery or incapacity of the signer. But additionally, you can contest a will under the basis of “undue influence.” This occurs when the person who signed the will, otherwise known as a testator, was improperly persuaded or convinced to leave money or property to someone. This can be a serious allegation, and requires the help of an elder law attorney to advocate on your behalf.
In Florida, in order to claim undue influence, you must show that an individual was over-persuaded, under duress or forced to make certain changes to a will. This can be anything from deceptive conduct to
To prove undue influence, you must show that an individual would receive substantial benefit under the will, has a confidential relationship with the decedent, and was active in the procurement of the will. It’s often not hard to prove that an individual could benefit from the will, but it can be harder to prove that an individual had an active role in modifying the will to their own benefit.
The best way to prove this is to hire an elder law attorney who can call witnesses, elicit testimony and introduce documents to the court that will prove there was undue influence. Aside from gathering evidence, it’s important to take into account the mental capacitation of the testator at the time they signed the will. Other family members and health caretakers can also be valuable witnesses in a case like this.
Ultimately, undue influence cases can be hard to prove and require lots of fact finding and investigations. Make sure to hire a qualified elder law attorney that is familiar with the ins and outs of the Florida court system. Contact the Law Office of Michelangelo Mortellaro for a consultation today.