Fighting Deathbed Real Estate Transfers
Florida probate lawyers see “deathbed transfers” frequently. Consider an example in which your elderly parent has an estate plan in place. Their will was drafted, and as their child, you thought you knew what to expect. Then, suddenly, in the days or weeks before their death, your parent transferred property to another individual or formed a new corporation or LLC and transferred it to the company. It is no surprise that this can leave you up in arms. A significant part of your inheritance may have just gone to someone else. Worse yet, it may have gone to a step-parent or recent romantic partner, a step-sibling, or someone who is not even related to you or your parent.
When deathbed transfers occur and you have a feeling something was not right or lawful about what happened, contact a Florida probate attorney right away. It may be possible to fight the transfer after your loved one has passed away.
An Undue Influence Claim
If you believe a transfer your loved one made before their death was not lawful because it occurred due to another person’s undue influence, then a probate attorney may file a lawsuit seeking to have the conveyance set aside, also known as canceling the deed. When you argue against the property transfer, you must prove that there was undue influence. Florida courts have outlined many ways to prove that a will was altered due to undue influence, but there are fewer clear factors of transfers made during your loved one’s life. You may need to prove that person who received the property had a close, confidential relationship with your loved one and that they were active in procuring the transfer. You must show that the person overcame your loved one’s independent agency and will power. You must also show that they substantially benefited from their influence and the property transfer.
If you believe the person who received the property or who will benefit from it exerted undue influence over your loved one, call us today. An experienced Florida probate lawyer will investigate the situation and advise you on bringing an undue influence claim in order to have the deed canceled.
Depending on the circumstances, the facts of your family’s situation may not support an undue influence case, but instead support a claim of fraud. If you believe the individual who received or benefits from the property transfer committed fraud in order to get your loved one to transfer the deed, call us immediately. For fraud to have occurred, you must prove that the benefitting party made false statements concerning one or more material facts and that they knew what they said was false. You must prove the benefitting party intended for the false information to induce your loved one to act and that your loved one was injured by acting on it.
Let a Florida Probate Lawyer Help You
If you are able to prove fraud or undue influence occurred and a court cancels the deed, then the property is returned to the state it would have been had the transfer never occurred. It must then be dealt with how it would have under your parent’s will. It may be transferred to a beneficiary based on a provision in the will or it may become part of the estate as a whole.
Call the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. to learn more about fighting a deathbed transfer and what to expect if you succeed. Our West Palm Beach legal team is eager to assist you today.