What is the Florida Statute Of Limitations on a Will?
A common question Jacksonville estate planning lawyers are often asked is how long does a person have to Florida will contest a will or what is the statute of limitations to contest a will in Florida. As with most legal answers it depends on the rest of the facts. The statute of limitations to dispute or contest a will depends on what documents you have received and what type of notice were given.
The relevant statutes dealing with the Florida statute of limitations on a will can be found under Florida Statute Section 733.212. If a person receives a copy of the Petition for Administration via Formal Notice before the Letter of Administration being issued, then he or she will have 20 days to file any objections to the will. However, it is more likely that a person will be served a copy of the Notice of Administration after Letters of Administration are issued.
So what does the statute say about the Florida Statute of Limitations on a Will in this scenario?
A person that is served a copy of the Notice of Administration must file an objection on or before the date that is three months after the date of service. So, If a person as is served a copy of the Notice of Administration on January 1, 2017, they would be able to properly file an objection on March 1, 2017, without the statute of limitations barring the objection to the will in Florida. A proper objection can challenge the validity of the will, the venue, or the jurisdiction of the court.
The 3-month period may only be extended for estoppel based upon a misstatement by the personal representative regarding the period within an objection must be filed. The period may not be extended for any other reason, including affirmative representation, failure to disclose information or misconduct by the personal representative or any other person.
So how does someone object to the will within the Florida Statute of Limitations on a Will?
Any interested person that is served with a copy of the Notice of Administration may object to the validity of the will, the venue, or the jurisdiction of the court by filing a petition or other pleading requesting relief under the Florida Probate Rules. If a person is not served with a copy of the Notice of Administration, then this person may object to the validity of the will, venue or the jurisdiction of the court by no later than the earlier of the entry of an order of final discharge or the personal representative or 1 year after service of the Notice of Administration.
For more information on how to contest a will, contact the Jacksonville estate planning lawyer David Goldman today at 904-685-1200.