Is Probate Litigation Important? What You Need To Know

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Probate litigation is an important piece of the estate planning puzzle. No matter what role you play when it comes to the execution of a will, you need to understand how probate litigation can impact everyone involved. The following are some things to keep in mind when it comes to this legal matter:

What Happens During Probate Litigation?

If you have ever heard of someone challenging a will, they are entering probate litigation. During the probate process, the state will officially recognize the estate executor or administrator. Once the executor or the administrator submits the death certificate of the deceased, probate begins. The state will check the validity of the death certificate before probate can move forward.

If there is an individual who has an interest in the will, he or she can enter probate litigation to voice his or her disagreement with the probate process. That person may then file a case in court.

Why Would Someone Enter Probate Litigation?

There are different reasons why someone would choose to enter probate litigation. When someone wishes to contest the contents of a will because he or she believes they are owed some part of the will, they can contest the will in probate litigation. This happens often in estranged families. It can also happen if a person did not receive what they believe they were promised within the will.

Probate litigation is also common when the deceased had no will. In this instance, a family would have to choose an estate administrator, which can be a source of contention for some. Once the state identifies a person as the administrator, other members of the family can contest the choice if they have reason to believe the person chosen is not appropriate for whatever reason. Should the administrator want to continue to retain that title, he or she must testify and provide evidence showing why he or she is the best person for this particular job.

Litigations also happen if there are disputes with the trusts left in a will. A trust is a tool that allows the deceased to have determined what happens with his or her assets upon death. The trusts are tight and contain explicit details. For example, if the deceased had a special needs child, he or she could have secured a trust that contains assets that may only be used for his or her care. If someone wants to contest the rules of a trust within a will, he or she must enter probate litigation to voice his or her disagreement.

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