Florida Courts Can Now Change Wills if Mistakes Are Found
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 27, 2011 - Florida’s new probate laws may lead to more litigation over wills that used to be considered unambiguous. The new laws went into effect this fall, so the state has yet to see how often the new rule will be tested. But the potential for more modifications of wills is significant.
“Courts will be busier dealing with these new rules, but it will help bring out the truth in the case of unintended discrepancies,” said Brandon estate planning lawyer Reginald Osenton. “Ultimately, this could open the floodgates to a lot of new litigation.”
It is a substantial change from the previous law that allowed contests in the case of trusts, but if a will was considered unambiguous, then it was uncontestable.
“It is important to get to the wishes of the deceased,” Osenton said. “The more careful you are when putting the will together in the first place, the less likely your children will have to spend the money later on fighting about it in court.”
Florida Statute Section 732.615 allows any interested party to petition the court to reform a will to correct mistakes if they can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the will does not convey the true intent of the deceased.
“I’m interested to see how the court defines what constitutes clear and convincing evidence in these cases,” Osenton said.
The law was changed so that the court could amend a will in the case of a mistake of fact or law. Previously, the will only could be changed if it was ambiguous.
Brandon estate planning attorney Reginald Osenton is experienced in helping clients put together wills and trusts that meet their specific goals. Osenton Law Offices handles probate cases throughout Florida. To learn more or to contact a Brandon estate planning attorney or to contact a Brandon lawyer, visit http://www.brandonlawoffice.com.
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777
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