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Revisions or Multiple Wills? You May Need a Boca Raton Probate Litigation Attorney

Fri Oct 15, 2021 | Probate |

When it comes to probate, most discussions assume that there is only one will under consideration. However, it is not uncommon for people to die with multiple wills or a will that has been significantly amended. In these situations, there can be considerable disagreement over which will is valid, the testator’s intent, and how the estate should be distributed. If you have found yourself in a situation where there is more than one will or the validity of any amendments are at issue, you should consider contacting a Boca Raton probate litigation attorney to discuss your options. 

Amendments to the Will

A common scenario that can arise is where the testator has made their own amendments to their will in order to reflect their changing desires as to the administration of their estate. While the intent may be to avoid the confusion that comes with multiple wills, the problem is that the amendments are often unclear and invalid under the law. 

In order to properly amend a will in Florida, the testator must execute a legal document referred to as a codicil. The codicil must meet the same requirements of a will in order to be considered valid: 

  • It must be in writing
  • The testator must be of sound mind
  • It must be signed by the testator
  • It must be signed by and in the presences of at least two witnesses, and the witnesses must sign the codicil in the presence of the testator

Even if the codicil is validly executed, it can still create a great deal of confusion and conflict as to the testator’s intent. A Boca Raton probate litigation attorney can review the codicil or amendments and determine whether you have a valid reason to challenge the amendment.

Multiple Wills – Has There Been a Revocation?

When there are multiple wills, the question immediately arises as to which is valid. Unless the testator has revoked a previous will, the newer document will not be considered valid. A will can be revoked in one of two ways: 

  • By a physical act, such as tearing up the will
  • By writing, such as expressly stating in the new will that it revokes any prior will. 

Even if it appears that the testator revoked their previous will, the new will may still face challenges. For example, there may be questions as to the authenticity of the new will, whether the testator had legal capacity, or whether the revocation was the result of undue influence. A Boca Raton probate litigation attorney can review your case if you are facing a potential dispute. 

Speak with a Boca Raton Probate Litigation Attorney at Ellis Law Group Today

Whether you are a personal representative who has been suddenly left out of the will or a personal representative who isn’t sure how to proceed, we can help you navigate your probate dispute and reach a fair resolution. To schedule an appointment, contact us today at 561-910-7500.