Handling your deceased loved one’s estate through probate can seem like an enormous task. You may be unfamiliar with how probate works, or lack clear instructions regarding what your loved one wanted.
If you discover that there is more than one will, it can add another layer of difficulty to your challenges. While you may have felt comfortable handling the probate process when there was only one will, if another will is found it can make the situation more complicated.
Here’s what you should know about tackling the probate process when your loved one has more than one will.
Sorting this from that
There are certain legal requirements for a will to be considered valid in Florida. The first step will be ruling out any wills that do not meet the criteria of a valid will. The requirements typically include:
- The testator (writer of the will) must be over 18 years old
- Signatures of two disinterested witnesses who signed in the presence of the testator
- Testator is of sound mind when signing the will
After reviewing the wills for the above requirements, if there still appears to be more than one will you must determine which one is the most recent. The official will of your loved one most likely is the most recent will that fulfills all required legal elements.
It could still be contested
Even though you’ve determined the most recent will that meets all of the criteria, there may still be family members who question its validity. For example, if your loved one changed their will because they felt pressured by a friend or family member, the will could be contested due to allegations of undue influence.
While establishing which will is valid can be a challenging process, upholding your loved one’s wishes for the distribution of their estate is vitally important. Handling the probate process can be overwhelming; it is not only helpful, it is often required that you utilize the services of a skilled professional.