Estate litigation can arise when there is a dispute over the distribution of a person’s assets after they pass away. In Florida, estate litigation can take many forms, including will contests, trust disputes, and claims against the estate. Here is an overview of what happens during estate litigation in Florida:
Filing a lawsuit
The first step in estate litigation is to file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. The type of lawsuit will depend on the nature of the dispute. For example, a will contest is a lawsuit that challenges the validity of a person’s will, while a trust dispute is a lawsuit that challenges the terms or administration of a trust.
After filing the lawsuit, the parties will engage in a process known as discovery. Discovery is the process of exchanging information and evidence relevant to the case. This may include requests for documents, written questions, and depositions of witnesses.
In Florida, the courts generally require parties to attempt mediation before proceeding to trial. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the parties reach a settlement. If the parties can reach a settlement, the case can be resolved without needing a trial.
The case will proceed to trial if the parties cannot settle through mediation. Each side will present evidence and arguments to support their case during the trial. The judge or jury will then decide on the outcome of the case.
If one of the parties is unhappy with the trial’s outcome, they may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court. The appeals process can be lengthy and expensive and may involve a new trial or simply a review of the trial court’s decision.
Estate litigation can be complex and emotional, particularly involving family members. It is important to have the guidance of an experienced estate litigation attorney to navigate the process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.