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Will you Challenge the Will?

Last WillBy: Anthony Cetrangelo, Esq.

Contesting the validity of a Last Will & Testament is a heavy legal matter that demands clarity, patience, and guidance and is probably the last thing a grieving family member wants to think about after a loved one’s death.

Regardless of the circumstances, when the challenge is prompted by suspicions of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, or improper execution, contesting a Last Will & Testament requires a comprehensive understanding of Florida’s laws.

No Contest Clauses

An “in terrorem clause” is a provision in a Last Will &Testament that states a beneficiary may be punished for contesting the Last Will & Testament. A typical contest clause will state that if a beneficiary contests the Last Will & Testament and then loses the challenge, then he or she will be disinherited as a beneficiary in the estate. These are commonly used to dissuade beneficiaries from frivolous actions and to keep the peace in the family after death. However, these types of contest clauses are unenforceable in the state of Florida.

Valid Grounds for Contesting a Last Will & Testament in Florida

Contesting a Last Will & Testament means challenging its validity in court. Below are the grounds that are used to proceed with the challenge.

  1. Lack of Testamentary Capacity. This refers to the mental capacity of the testator (the person making the Last Will & Testament) at the time the will was executed. If the testator did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature and significance of the Last Will & Testament, it may be deemed invalid.
  2. Undue Influence. If someone exerted undue influence over the testator, causing them to make decisions against their own free will or desire.
  3. Fraud or Forgery. A Last Will & Testament can be contested if it is believed to have been obtained through fraudulent means or if the testator’s signature was forged.
  4. Improper Execution. Florida has very specific requirements for the testator and witnesses in order to have a valid Last Will & Testament.

Final Wishes

Contesting a Last Will & Testament is a complex and emotionally challenging process. It’s essential to approach the situation with clarity, patience, and the guidance of knowledgeable legal professionals. If you’re considering contesting a Last Will & Testament in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced probate attorneys. We’re here to provide you with the support and advocacy you need to navigate this sensitive legal matter effectively. Contact us to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards protecting your rights and interests in contesting a Last Will & Testament in Florida. I may be reached at

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