How Lawyers Help Solve Inheritance Disputes
Any type of will contest is costly and time-consuming. Hiring an experienced estate planner to create your will can greatly reduce the likelihood that such claim will be advanced.
Clients are often concerned about family members contesting their will. The most common will contests involve either (1) an undue influence claim or (2) lack of capacity to sign the will. In an undue influence matter, the relative initiating the challenge claims that the decedent wrote or modified the will under undue influence; in other words, the family member who took care of or lived with the decedent during his or her final illness deceived, pressured, or manipulated the decedent into modifying the will to give more assets to the caregiver at the expense of other family members. A capacity claim alleges that the person creating the will lacked the mental capacity to create the document. Any type of will contest is costly and time-consuming. Hiring an experienced estate planner to create your will can greatly reduce the likelihood that such claim will be advanced.
Claiming an Elective Spousal Share
You have the right to disinherit anyone you choose. However, your spouse and/or minor children have certain inheritance rights no matter what your will says. Both spouses and minor children have specific rights to the decedent’s homestead property. Florida law allows a disinherited surviving spouse to claim an elective share, which equals 30% of the value of the elective estate. The elective estate consists of assets beyond the estate assets. The elective estate includes, but is not limited to: estate assets, assets held in a revocable trust, assets held by joint tenancy, and assets that list a beneficiary such as a Payable on Death designation. In order to prevent such disputes, some couples sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreements waiving their right to an elective share.
Selling Assets From the Estate to Satisfy the Decedent’s Debt Obligations
In some probate cases, certain assets are exempt from the claims of creditors, and other assets are not exempt from the claims of creditors. A carefully crafted estate plan can ensure that assets that should be exempt from claims remain that way.
Contact Kruse Law About Avoiding or Resolving Probate Disputes in Florida
Kruse Law assists clients in creating estate plans that minimize the risk of attack and litigation. Further, choosing the right attorney to represent you in the probate administration can help you remain free from attack by other beneficiaries. A St. Petersburg probate lawyer can help you ensure that you are following the procedural rules of probate and can help you resolve disputes related to the estate. Contact Kruse Law in St. Petersburg, Florida, to set up a consultation.