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No-contest clauses are not enforceable under Florida estate laws

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Certain provable elements must exist for a last will to be valid and enforceable. Every state, including Florida, has its own laws regarding estate planning and probate. Both the person signing a will, as well as any heirs or beneficiaries listed therein, may seek guidance from an estate law attorney to ensure that a will is legally sound. A common way for testators to keep their wills from being challenged is to include a no-contest clause. However, under Florida estate laws, this type of clause is not enforceable.

A no-contest clause is typically added to a last will to keep heirs and beneficiaries from contesting the will. The clause usually provides that anyone slated to receive an inheritance under the will in question will lose it if he or she challenges the will in any way. In addition to Florida, only one other state does not enforce no-contest clauses in a last will.

How can Florida testators keep a last will from being challenged?

Since no-contest clauses are not enforced in Florida, those who wish to execute a last will and testament might wonder what they can do to keep their wills from being challenged. While there is no foolproof way to make sure no one will challenge a will, there are ways to lessen the likelihood. A top priority is to make sure a will is signed in accordance with all applicable laws, such as having at least two witnesses.

It is also helpful to have mental and physical health verified before signing a will. This acts as a safety net so that no one can challenge whether the will was signed with a sound mind. Asking an attorney who is well-versed in Florida estate laws to review a last will before signing also lessens the likelihood of it being challenged.


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