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Accessible And Effective Florida Probate And Trust Litigation

Even when a family has engaged in extensive estate planning and has created a will and trust, some family members may not be satisfied with the results of the estate plan following the death of another family member. When disputes arise between surviving family members over assets and property that belonged to the deceased, court intervention may be necessary to resolve these disagreements.

Unfortunately, probate and trust disputes tend to be complex, time-consuming and expensive. There are deadlines, paperwork and excessive amounts of “legalese” to contend with. For these reasons, you may need the assistance of an experienced probate and trust litigation attorney. Saavedra-Goodwin has the experience, skills and knowledge to help guide you through probate or trust litigation in an effective, yet efficient manner.

Turn To Saavedra-Goodwin For All Of Your Probate Litigation Needs

Disputes can arise for many reasons in the context of a probate proceeding. Many of these disputes involve a will that sets forth the intentions of the deceased regarding the distribution of his or her assets. In some cases, not all family members are satisfied with the contents of the will. Some family members may question the validity of the will, particularly when the deceased was an elderly person who recently changed the provisions of his or her will, or who might have been taken advantage of by a care provider, close relative or friend.

Other potential issues that might arise in probate litigation include:

  • Allegations of undue influence: When a family member, friend or caregiver persuades an elderly or feeble maker of a will (called a testator) to change that will for their benefit.
  • Lack of mental capacity: When the testator is not in their right mind or has lost the ability to make sound decisions.
  • Will contests: A formal objection or challenge to the validity of a will. Typically, these challenges allege that the will does not reflect the true intentions of the testator. There are many potential reasons to challenge a will. In deciding a will contest, the court will consider issues such as undue influence, fraud, state of mind of the deceased and other similar issues.
  • Allegations of wrongdoing: A personal representative of the deceased’s estate can be accused of misappropriation or inappropriate use of estate property or funds, or use of estate property or funds for their own benefit.

Whatever the case may be, a Saavedra-Goodwin probate litigation attorney will represent your interests and advocate on your behalf. With an experienced lawyer on your side, you will put yourself in the best position possible to achieve your goals.

Work With The Trust Litigation Attorneys At Saavedra-Goodwin To Get Resolution

People create trust documents to protect their assets for their surviving family members, to avoid the costs and time of the probate process and to ensure that their wishes are carried out. However, the execution of a trust does not guarantee that its administration will be free of conflict.

Trust documents typically designate a trustee who is responsible for carrying out or administering the terms of the trust. If, for example, a beneficiary of a trust becomes unhappy with how the trustee is administering the trust, or believes that the trustee has breached his or her fiduciary duty to act in the beneficiary’s best interest, a dispute may arise. The Fort Lauderdale trust litigation attorneys of Saavedra-Goodwin will first try to informally negotiate and resolve the matter. In many cases, this is all that is needed. Litigation may become a necessity if the parties cannot reach an amicable resolution.

Florida Probate And Trust Litigation FAQs

Don’t be afraid to ask many questions when confronted with a legal issue or litigation. We’ve encountered numerous common legal questions and provided useful answers to assist you in making the best legal decisions.

What is undue influence in estate planning in Florida?

In Florida, undue influence occurs when someone in a trusted position, like a caregiver or family member, manipulates or pressures another (the testator) into changing their estate plans.

Courts consider factors like the beneficiary receiving a large share, having a close bond with the testator and being actively involved in creating the documents. These factors might suggest undue influence, shifting the burden of proof to the beneficiary to show the document reflects the testator’s true wishes.

What does an estate litigation attorney in Florida do?

A skilled Florida estate litigation attorney specializes in resolving disputes arising during probate. They possess the required legal expertise to interpret documents like wills and trusts. The lawyer represents various parties involved in the process, including:

  • Personal representatives: They can help individuals navigate probate steps, manage assets, interpret wills and resolve beneficiary conflicts.
  • Beneficiaries: They assist in securing rightful inheritances, challenging contested allocations and mediating disagreements regarding estate funds.

Their main legal aim is to protect clients’ interests while ensuring adherence to Florida’s probate laws and deadlines.

What is probate litigation in Florida?

Probate litigation in Florida involves legal disputes that arise during the process of settling a deceased individual’s estate. This occurs when disagreements emerge regarding wills, trusts, asset distribution or the personal representative’s actions.

Common elements of litigation include:

  • Challenging the validity of a will due to factors like undue influence or lack of mental capacity
  • Contesting the distribution of assets outlined in the will or by intestacy laws (when no will exists)
  • Addressing disagreements between beneficiaries or questioning the personal representative’s handling of the estate

Florida probate courts oversee these proceedings, with experienced probate litigation attorneys representing different parties to reach a resolution that upholds legal rights and ensures fair distribution of the estate.

Contact Saavedra-Goodwin For Assistance Today

Since 1988, the attorneys at Saavedra-Goodwin have represented hundreds of clients in probate and trust administration and litigation. When you are facing a family dispute in the context of probate proceedings or trust administration, get the help of an experienced and knowledgeable probate and trust litigation lawyer who can advocate zealously on your behalf. Call our office today to discuss how we can help at (954) 928-9568 or send us a brief email of introduction. Helping family members succeed since 1988.