Probate litigation refers to the challenging of a person’s will after that person’s death. There are a number of reasons that this litigation may occur. The family may suspect the person was not competent to make the will or that the person was unduly influenced by another individual. This type of litigation could happen if people find themselves disinherited or if they do not receive the type of inheritance they expect.
Another common reason for probate litigation is if the will is improperly prepared. For example, it might be unsigned or lack witness signatures, or the language used in the will might be unclear.
Disputes over wills may also occur if elements of the estate plan contradict one another. For example, a person may never have removed an ex-spouse from the beneficiary designation for a life insurance plan, but the will and the divorce decree might name someone else as the beneficiary.
In some cases, family members may feel that an executor or someone else who has a role in the estate is breaching fiduciary duty by mismanaging elements of the estate. This could also lead to a lawsuit.
There are many other scenarios that can result in probate litigation. However, this litigation does not necessarily mean the case has to go to court. In some situations, mediation may lead to a resolution. If mediation breaks down, probate litigation lawyers may be able to advocate for your side in court.
Working with Brea lawyers to create an estate plan can reduce the likelihood that probate litigation will occur. The attorney can help ensure that the will is prepared correctly and that there are fewer grounds on which to base a probate litigation. Attorneys can also work with executors on probate administration. It may also be helpful to prepare additional documents or simply talk to family members to discuss the rationale behind the estate plan.
Probate litigation can be a grueling process because family members are often dealing with grief and the stress of old disputes. However, with the assistance of probate litigation lawyers, it may be possible to reach a solution.