You may hear news of disputes over wills in Miami and automatically write them off to simply being the desperate actions of jealous people who are upset about being disinherited. Yet it has been our experience here at The Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez, P.L. that the motives of those who have come to us with questions regarding the validity of a will are typically not financial. Rather, their concerns were primarily over the potential of their loved ones being taken advantage of.
Of course, people often only learn about late amendments made to a person’s will after he or she has passed on. At that point, proving that he or she might have been unduly influenced to make such changes can be difficult. Thus, the trick is to try to identify scenarios where one might be trying to take advantage of your loved one while he or she is still here. Listed below are some signs that should raise your concern:
- Your loved one ceases communication with you or others who may be affected by his or her estate
- Your loved one becomes increasingly dependent on one person while simultaneously withdrawing from you and other family members or friends
- A close friend or caretaker suddenly assumes control of your loved one’s health and financial affairs
- Unexplained asset transfers or other activity occurs with your loved one’s financial accounts
If you are able to show that any portions of your loved one’s will are amended due to fraud, duress or undue influence, Section 732.5165 of the Florida Probate Code states that such changes will be considered invalid. The same is true if one uses the similar methods to have an earlier will revoked.
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