What To Know About Contesting Inter Vivos Transactions In Florida
Not all of a testator’s assets are always bequeathed after their death. In fact, many testator’s worry that their will or other aspects of their estate plan will be challenged in probate court. As a means of trying to get around that, they may give away assets and property during their lifetime to ensure that it goes to their intended recipient. However, while such a transaction may provide the testator with peace of mind, it is not actually a loophole. Gifts made during the testator’s lifetime are known as inter vivos transactions. Inter vivos transactions can be contested after the testator’s death just like their will can. If you want to contest an inter vivos gift, it is important to contact an experienced Florida estate lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.
Contesting an Inter Vivos Transaction
Inter vivos transactions can be contested on the same grounds as wills. Common grounds for contesting inter vivos transactions include fraud and undue influence. As is the case with wills, inter vivos transactions that are made to individuals with whom the testator shared a confidential relationship of power differential, such as a caretaker, will be viewed with a high degree of skepticism. If an interested party challenges an inter vivos transaction made to someone who shared a confidential relationship with the testator, that individual will bear the burden of proving that the inter vivos gift was not made due to undue influence. Bequests made to caregivers in wills are also viewed with skepticism and treated with a great degree of caution. This is because caregivers and other individuals who share a confidential relationship with the testator, and on whom the testator relies on for care and survival, have an unequal power differential. This means that the testator may not have felt comfortable or able to deny their request to be included in their will. For this reason, courts view such transactions with significant skepticism. If the property or assets that were gifted to a person with whom the testator shared a confidential relationship had previously been promised to someone else, this is also a red flag indicating that undue influence may have occurred, and will be strong evidence in the contestation of the gift. Other times, an inter vivos gift may be used to overcome other challenges to the will by interested beneficiaries. For instance, if an interested party is challenging the will on the grounds that they did not receive their fair share of the inheritance, it may be possible for the other beneficiaries to show that that individual had already received their inheritance in the form of an inter vivos transaction.
Contact Mark R. Manceri Today and Schedule a Consultation
If you believe your loved one has been coerced into giving away part of their estate, it’s not too late to take a stand and make sure their true wishes are honored. Contact Pompano Beach estate & trust litigation lawyer Mark R. Manceri today and schedule your personalized consultation to find out what legal options are available to you.