What are the grounds to contest a Will in Florida? Can we contest even though the Will says we can't?

Full Question:

My Mother remarried after the death of my Father. She is 74 and married a young man only 35 years old. Two weeks before she died, she changed her Will to leave everything to this man. She also included a clause in the Will stating that if anyone contested the Will they are not to receive any part of her estate even if they win. Her prior Will left everything to her children including me. What do we do in this situation?
02/07/2017   |   Category: Wills and Es... ยป Will Contests   |   State: Florida   |   #31742


A Will can be challenged based on whether it meets the requirements of the Florida Probate Code as it relates to signing and execution of the Will.  An example would be where there are no witnesses or the witnesses did not sign together.

Other grounds include fraud, duress, mistake and undue influence. Each of these must be proven in Court based on facts of each case.

In Florida a provision that penalizes anyone that contests a Will is not valid.  Therefore, you don't have to worry about that provision in the Will.

If successful the prior Will will be revived in most cases.

The relevant provisions of the Florida Probate Code are below.
732.5165 Effect of fraud, duress, mistake, and undue influence.—A will is void if the execution is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence. Any part of the will is void if so procured, but the remainder of the will not so procured shall be valid if it is not invalid for other reasons. If the revocation of a will, or any part thereof, is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence, such revocation is void.

732.517 Penalty clause for contest.—A provision in a will purporting to penalize any interested person for contesting the will or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate is unenforceable.