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April 22

Is Summary Judgment Available in a Will Contest Case for Undue Influence?

Written by Thomas Upchurch , , , ,

Yes, it may be possible in a Will contest case pertaining to undue influence if under certain circumstances, the trial court determines that “there is no material issue of fact showing that the Last Will and Testament was procured by undue influence.”  RBC Ministries v. Barbara Tompkins, 974 So. 2d 569 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008).

There is case law that supports that Summary Judgment is appropriate only when the moving party presents conclusively that there is no “genuine triable issues.” Holl v. Talcott, 191 So. 2d 40 (Fla. 1966). Further, it may be the court’s position that a Summary Judgment “must be exercised with restraint.” Clay Elec. Coop, Inc. v. Johnson, 837 So. 2d 1182 (Fla. 2003).

Keep in mind that while a Summary Judgment for a presumption of undue influence may not be granted, it does not mean that the alleged party will lose his or her case.
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