Contesting A Will Or Trust in Florida

One of the most frequently asked questions is how a will or trust can be challenged (and ultimately found to be invalid) in the State of Florida. The following grounds provide the most frequent basis for such challenges:


  • Lack of Proper Formalities. A will or trust must be signed by the testator/grantor and witnessed by two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the will/trust. The document can be invalidated if these formalities were not followed.

  • Lack of Capacity. A testator/grantor is required to have mental competency (i.e. the ability to understand the nature of his or her assets and the people to whom the assets are going to be distributed) at the time they execute the document.

  • Undue Influence. Undue influence occurs when the testator/grantor is compelled or coerced to execute a will as a result of improper pressure exerted on him or her, typically by a relative, friend, trusted advisor, or health care worker.

  • Insane Delusion. Insane delusion occurs when the testator/grantor, against all evidence to the contrary, believes something that is not true, and creates or changes an estate planning document (will or trust) based on the insane delusion.

  • Fraud. Fraud occurs when a beneficiary of a will/trust causes the testator/grantor to make or change an estate document based on misrepresentations.

Daniel A. Seigel has extensive experience contesting wills and trusts, resulting in substantial financial recoveries for clients. Conversely, Attorney Seigel is frequently retained by fiduciaries to defend the validity of such documents.

Some highlights involve:

  • Successfully defended a personal representative in a lawsuit filed by disinherited individual, who alleged that the will was invalid (petitioner eventually filed voluntary dismissal).

  • Represented a plaintiff in litigation to invalidate a trust, involving claim of intentional interference with inheritance expectation and undue influence, resulting in favorable settlement for client.

  • Represented a plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to invalidate estate planning documents as a result of testator’s lack of capacity and undue influence, resulting in favorable settlement for client.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.
You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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