Pompano Beach Omitted Heir Lawyer
Problems can arise when a new spouse or child arrives on the scene after a will has already been created. When the will is being probated, the spouse or child may assert a right to a share in the estate, even though the person is not mentioned or provided for in the will. In some cases, an omission may be accidental, while other times the testator may have intentionally omitted a person from his or her will. Whether negligently or intentionally omitted, an heir may still have inheritance rights under Florida law. Pompano Beach omitted heir lawyer Mark R. Manceri is a Florida board-certified specialist in wills, trusts and estates with over 25 years of experience resolving will disputes in Broward County. For help resolving a dispute surrounding an omitted heir in a Broward County estate, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. in Pompano Beach.
Florida law provides some guidance for what happens in the case of pretermitted children, or children born or adopted after a will was made and not provided for in the will. Florida Statutes 732.302 states that pretermitted children are entitled to a share in the estate unless any of the following conditions are met:
- The child already received an equivalent share by way of advancement (gifts made during the testator’s lifetime as an advance on an inheritance)
- It is apparent from the will that the omission was intentional
- The testator already had one or more children when the will was executed and devised substantially all of the estate to the other parent, and that parent survived and is entitled to take under the will
If the pretermitted child is entitled to a share of the estate, that share is equal to the child’s intestate share, or what the child would have received had the testator died without a valid will. The extent of the child’s intestate share depends on a number of factors, such as how many other children there are, whether the testator left a surviving spouse, and whether the surviving spouse is the parent of the pretermitted child.
If the testator marries after making a will and the new spouse is not provided for in the will, that spouse may be entitled to a share in the estate, unless the spouse is disinherited in the will. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to provide for the spouse outside the will or waive the spouse’s right to a share in the estate.
If the pretermitted spouse is entitled to a share in the estate, that share is equal to the spouse’s intestate share, which can be one-half or even all of the estate, depending on whether there are children or not. The spouse’s intestate share is most likely larger than the elective share which a spouse is otherwise entitled to.
Pompano Beach Probate Expert Solving Omitted Heir Disputes in Broward County
Probate litigation is not uncommon when a spouse or child is omitted from the will. The testator’s intention, the wishes of the heir, and Florida probate law may all come into conflict and must be resolved in the courts based on the facts and evidence available and the proper interpretation of Florida law. Florida probate attorney Mark R. Manceri is Board-Certified in Florida wills and estates and has over 25 years of experience in the resolution of will contests and probate disputes. For help in the case of an omitted heir to a Broward County estate, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. in Pompano Beach to discuss your case with a skilled and experienced Florida probate expert.