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Should you add a no-contest clause to your Florida last will?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2021 | Estate Planning |

The terms you set in your estate plan reflect your family relationships and your personal values. You may want to leave more property to one person than another. Sometimes, you might even choose to disinherit a loved one who has addiction issues or who has not been part of your life for years.

The more unusual your estate plan is, the greater the risk that someone in your family might challenge your last wishes because of their dissatisfaction with them. Should you include a no-contest clause in your will to prevent family members from challenging your last wishes and dragging your estate through the Florida probate courts?

Florida does not uphold no-contest clauses

A no-contest clause is a common addition to modern estate plans. It involves adding a penalty that applies to someone who challenges your estate plan or will. Some people choose to reduce the inheritance of a beneficiary who challenges their plans. Others will outright disinherit that person.

Although many states do let testators impose a financial penalty on those who might challenge their last wishes, that is not an option in Florida. State law prohibits the enforcement of such clauses during estate administration. Although you can include one in your last will, it won’t serve its purpose in the event that someone challenges your estate. At most, it will serve as a deterrent if someone doesn’t understand Florida probate rules.

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