About us

- Trust Litigation, Wills Contests, Probates Litigation -

Strategically, trusts are used by many individuals who are seeking to avoid the courtroom since trusts can provide for distribution of assets at death (as well as during one’s lifetime) and thereby avoid the need for a will which would necessitate probating through the courts. Algoflaw P.A. are specialists in this field.

Savvy property owners have successfully used trusts to hold their assets in such a way that at the time of their deaths, little if any property was left in their estate that would be subject to probate or to the provisions of a Last Will and Testament. In doing so, they avoided the probate court and saved their beneficiaries time, money and aggravation.

Trusts, however, are not a guaranteed strategic success in the avoidance of courtroom litigation. There are many times when trustees, beneficiaries, or others with an interest in the trust’s assets will challenge a trust, the actions of a trustee, or the validity of the trust itself and lawsuits will be filed.

Wills Contests

A Florida Will Contest is an adversary proceeding within the meaning of Florida Probate Rule 5.025. Whether the Will has been formally admitted to probate will determine which pleadings should be filed. A Will Contest is brought in probate court.

The Florida legislature has passed a law that prevents anyone from contesting a will before the death of the testator. Fla.Stat. §732.518 However, in many instances the beneficiaries, heirs, and other interested parties will not know the contents of a loved one’s Last Will and Testament until after his or her death, when the document is revealed as a part of the probate administration.

Fast deadlines for will contests established under Florida Law. According to Florida law, after a Notice of Administration is received by a potential claimant, that claimant has a mere ninety (90) days to consider his options, accumulate the proper supporting documentation, hire an attorney, and file a formal suit contesting the Will. That time frame is shortened to only twenty (20) days if a Formal Notice of Administration has been received before the Will has been admitted into probate.

Probate Litigation

When a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament is offered for probate, there are many requirements placed upon the probate process by Florida law. Creditors and heirs are all accorded various rights, privileges and limitations that must be strictly followed. The Will itself is available for review, and not everyone involved may be satisfied of the result when the provisions of the Will are read in conjunction with the legal mandates.

Probate litigation often involves a will contest. In Florida, probate litigation is one of the most hotly-contested areas of the law, used by surviving family members to correct an array of injustices.

Usually, Florida probate litigation is first considered by an individual when they receive a Notice of Administration. This is a formal document that alerts all interested parties of the death of the decedent, the filing of a Will for probate, and that an objection to the probate proceedings must be commenced within a certain period of time or be forever barred.

The recipient of a Notice of Administration will have a unique situation, and a dispute that may have a variety of legal bases (e.g., Lack of Mental Capacity, Undue Influence, Duress, Intentional Interference with an Expectancy, and/or Improper Signing of the Will). However, regardless of the simplicity or complexity of their claim, or any promises made to them that things will be “evened out” in the estate or someone will “take care of it,” the Notice provisions will hold.

Once an individual is served with a Notice of Administration and a very limited time period (usually 20 days) passes, any promises, representations or guaranteed to settle any estate dispute or disagreement are worthless and unenforceable unless the parties have entered into an official settlement agreement (written, signed, etc.).

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