One of the challenges associated with wills is to create a document that will accomplish the stated wishes of its maker who is formally known as the “testator.” A will must clearly convey the thoughts and wishes of the testator who will not be around when the document is offered for probate to explain what he or she intended.
For the same reason, a will contest can be particularly troublesome because it may result in the entire will or key provisions of it being voided by a probate judge. The wishes and desires of a testator can be lost when beneficiaries or other interested parties contest the validity of will.
A common reason for the validity of a will being called into question is a lack of testamentary capacity on the part of the testator. Testamentary capacity is the ability to understand the consequences associated with making the will, including a comprehension by the testator of the assets he or she owned and their value.
Lack of testamentary capacity at the time of execution of the will may cause a probate court to void the document. Having a will drafted by a law firm that understands the rules as to testamentary capacity is one way to minimize the opportunities for a will contest.
Another common cause for a will contest is the existence of a will that predates the one offered for probate. A relatively simple solution for avoiding or minimizing the effect of this issue is the inclusion in a will of a provision stating that it revokes all former wills and codicils made by the testator.
Human nature being what it is, it may be impossible to create a document that will be completely protected against a challenge from someone who was excluded from sharing in your estate or from one of your beneficiaries who decides to use a will contest to negotiate a larger share of your estate. Working with a competent and knowledgeable attorney in Palm Beach County when creating your will is one way to know that it complies with Florida laws as to its terms and the procedures under which it was executed.