Being excluded from a will can be a hurtful experience. In some cases, when someone passes away and their will is revealed to their family members, there may be some unwelcome surprises. The will can exclude people who thought that they would be included or who logically assumed that they would be included. If you’re a Florida resident and were left out of a will, there are some steps that you can take to get the clarification you need to contest the will using the estate litigation process.
Determine the costs
Before you choose an attorney for estate litigation, give the process some serious thought. If you were not related to the decedent and weren’t named in any previous wills, you won’t be able to contest the will. If the decedent previously spoke with you about leaving you an inheritance, write down as many of the details of this conversation as you can recall. Estimate the monetary value of the items the decedent promised to leave you and put this in writing as well.
If the amount you’ve estimated is too low to cover the cost of meeting with an estate attorney to discuss the matter, it is probably not worth your time or effort to contest the will.
Get a copy of the will
Anyone who has a will has the final authority to decide who is and isn’t included in the will. If you have reason to believe that the will had changed because the decedent was under duress or had decreased mental capacity, you may be able to find out how and why this happened. Ask the executor of the will for previous versions of the document and a list of the assets the decedent included in the will.