My mom died in Fort Myers, can I contest the will my mom executed just before she died?

A “will contest” is generally a proceeding under Chapter 733 of the Florida probate code to have all or part of a will that has been sent to the court for a probate declared void.  For example, assume that Jane has two siblings: Mean and Greedy.  Mean and Greedy were able to have mom change her will just before she died leaving all of her probate estate to Mean and Greedy and cutting out Jane except for a gift of $1,000.00 out of a two million ($2,000,000.00) dollar estate.  Mean and Greedy file a petition to have the will admitted.  Because the purported will names Mean and Greedy as the personal representatives, Mean and Greedy do not have to send the petition for probate to Jane before sending it to the court.  If the will was signed by mom, two witnesses, and if the will has an attestation clause, then the probate court will admit the will to probate usually after requesting a bond, but without noticing Jane. Once the will is admitted, Mean and Greedy are required to send a Notice of Administration to (1) the surviving spouse if there is one, (2) beneficiaries, (3) the trustee of a revocable trust, (4) individuals entitled to exempt property.  Once Jane receives the Notice of Administration, Jane has three months to object to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative, the venue, or the jurisdiction of the court.  If Jane did not receive a Notice of Administration, then other limitations apply.

Matthew A. Linde
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