When Florida residents want to contest a will, there may be a question as to whether they are an interested party as it pertains to the estate of the decedent. It is important to note that interested parties are not limited to the people who are listed in the last will and testament. Individuals who contest a will may be surprised to find that the number of people who qualify as an interested party may be much higher than they originally thought.
Generally, the family members of a deceased person can be either actual parties or interested parties when a will is being contested. This is the case even if they are not mentioned as beneficiaries in the last will and testament. This means that all of the surviving family members could possibly be interested parties. Also, for probate litigation, the parties who are listed in the most recent last will and testament, which has been submitted for probate, are also considered interested parties.
The parties that are listed in the contested will are referred to as directly interested parties. If a there is a previous will and there are individuals listed in that will, those parties can also be considered interested parties and would have cause to take part in the probate litigation.
When contesting a will, the petitioner has to determine if there are any interested parties listed in the last will and testament other than family members. These parties have to be given notice as well as a chance to take part in the litigation if they so choose.
An attorney who practices estate administration and probate law may work to protect the rights of clients who are contesting a will. Before beginning probate litigation, the attorney may investigate to ensure that all interested parties have been informed of the pending litigation.