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In Tn. can a relative prepare a will on their own without the consent of the person who the will is being made for while dying?

Miami, FL |

A relative in-law prepared a will in order to get back a loan from 1989 for 20K, which now is 50K that of which there was never an agreement on. My mother offered to repay the loan many times over the years but was told "not to worry about it" THe will mentions only the sum of 50K to be re-paid (not 20k with Int.) My grandmother was 100 yrs old and did sign it but her daughter who lives with and took care of , was not allowed in the room by being told she is a beneficiary. we knew nothing of this new will until given a copy at the funeral. He is also named as the Personl Representive. IF there was never an agreement to repay this amount, shoud this be contested. The will aslo reads that if anyone beneficiay contests it their benefits are revoked. His wife is a beneficiary as well. T

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You need to immediately take a copy of this will and any other paperwork to a local probate attorney for review. Your facts are silent as to whether the will was properly executed with witnesses, etc. If the will was not properly executed, it will not be accepted by the probate court. Other issues to explore are your grandmother's mental capacity at the time of the will's execution and whether or not the relative in-law was exercising undue influence (and self-dealing) to have the document executed.

    When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.


  2. Ok. Let's take this one step at a time. Regardless of the loan and who said what to whom about it, when the will was signed by your mother, were there two competent witnesses who saw her sign and witnessed each other signing their attestation? If not, then the will is not valid. Florida statutes do not preclude a beneficiary from witnessing the signing of a will or even participating as a witness to a signing. (Florida Code Section 731.501-504). If the will is valid and it gives the 50K to the relative, it is a valid gift regardless of whether an agreement to repay exists or not. Your mother's will could leave the $50K to the neighborhood cat, if that is what she chose. It is strictly up to her. If you believe that she was not competent at the time of the signing of the will, or was unaware of what she was signing, you may have a case for fraud and deceit. ANY clause in a will that purports to penalize a beneficiary for contesting the will is completely, statutorily unenforceable. (Florida Code Section 732.517) Just the fact that such a clause exists raises red flags. Have a good wills and trusts attorney look this over for you right away. It may be contestable, but that won't be known without having the opportunity to review the latest will, the prior will and probate documents.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.


  3. in addition to the other posted answers-the most common reasons to contest the will are undue influence and/or incompetence.
    It appears that both of these may be present.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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