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Do I have a case to contest this will?

Naples, FL |

My grandfathers will(2006)(he is still alive) gave my sister and I equal share. She moved to Fl to be near him and since then the will has changed to she gets 1.8M and I get 400,000 as she convinced him I need nothing and she is destitute with a child and has a worthless husband. Not true of course. Since she has lived there for the past 1 1/2 years I can hardly get him to talk to me. He showed me paperwork where she had written down everything she wanted on the will. I ask him if he thought that was fair and he said he would put me on a 500,000cd, which he did as I went to the bank with him but as soon as I left he took me back off. I don't understand as he invites me down to visit and offers to pay my way. I have never done anything to him or her. Do I have a right to contest.

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Attorney answers 2


There is nothing to contest as long as he is alive. It may well be that he is doing what you describe merely to avoid having to explain himself or to be subjected to pressure. If he is in his right mind and feels that he prefers to leave her more than he leaves you, that is ihis privilege.

In order to successfully contest his will after his death, you would have to proove to the satisfaction of the probate court that he lacked testamentary capacity when the will was drawn.



If you have medical records showing brain surgery and not fully rehabilitated would that be enough?



probably not


Florida case law does say that you can not contest a will while someone is still alive. The courts don't want to waste time because by the time grandfather passes - all the money may be gone. If you believe he is incompetent - then you can consider a guardianship proceeding - but this should not be undertaken motivated only to protect some potential inheritance as there is some risk of attorney fees. Seek competent guardianship counsel to review this.

There is another method to challenge wills after death, other than incapacity, which is undue influence. Florida now states that if your sister is a trusted person for your grandfather, and she helps procure these will changes, then there is a presumption that she unduly influenced him. This can be independent of his incapacity. But, you should be aware that this behavior you are seeing can be common even if no one is twisting his arm. If you want to affect your relationship with your grandfather, then put the effort into it now while he is alive. This may or may not affect his at death gifting desires.

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