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Invalidation of Charitable Gifts Made Prior to Death

A Florida law allowing heirs to challenge wills was recently repealed.

• The Florida Supreme Court struck down a state law that permitted certain heirs to challenge gifts made to churches and other charities in a will executed within 6 months of a person's death. Prior to this ruling, Florida law, like the laws of a small and dwindling number of states, permitted a spouse or "lineal descendent" to challenge a will of a decedent who died within 6 months after executing a will leaving all or part of his or her estate to a religious or charitable organization. An elderly Florida resident executed a will on May 5, 1986, leaving most of her estate to a charity. The woman's will left only a token gift to the her sole suriving daughter since the daughter "has not shown or indicated the slightest affection or gratitude to me" and since "I have contributed substantially during my life for her education and subsequent monies I have been required to expend primarily ...

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  • January 1, 1991

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