We often receive calls regarding challenging a will or trust document. In Florida, before you can file a will or trust challenge, the contestant must renounce any benefit he or she receives under the document they are attempting to challenge.
Reunification is an equitable doctrine in Florida. In 2013 the 2nd DCA heard the case Fintak v. Fintak, 120 So.3d 177. Generally, under English law as interpreted by American courts and individual is estopped from contesting the validity of a document that they received and retained a gift from. The Florida Supreme Court gave 3 reasons for this rule in Barnett Nat’l Bank of Jacksonville v. Murrey, 49 So.2d 535 (Fla. 1950):
- to protect a fiduciary in the event the contested document is held invalid;
- to demonstrate sincerity of the contestant; and
- to have the property available for disposition at the conclusion of the contest.