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The definition of an interested party in probate

On Behalf of | May 26, 2020 | Firm News |

Not everyone has the legal right to step forward and challenge a Florida estate in probate court. The question in front of the court is whether one is an interested party to bring legal action regarding the will. For many families, the reality is that more people may be interested parties than they expected.

The designation is not just reserved for beneficiaries named in the will. In fact, the legal action may be brought by surviving family members who were not included in the will. As such, all family members would be deemed interested parties for purposes of probate court.

Stated broadly, an interested party is anyone whose interest would be expected to be affected by the outcome of this particular proceeding. Even someone who is not a family member may fall under that legal definition. This could even include people who were named in a previous version of the will but were left out of the current version.

The probate court will determine who is an interested party. Since there are no set rules on who is an interested party, this could get tricky. Even family members can be left out of the proceedings if they have no vested interest in the proceeding or are not affected by what transpires.

When an estate goes through probate, people may need legal advice to determine whether they or someone else can challenge the will. A probate attorney could advise their client on the rules of the court and help them decide on the right course of action. Probate can be a drawn-out and difficult process. Thus, one may need legal help to represent their own interests.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe