An estate litigation lawyer from The Law Office of Paul Black can help you in creating estate plans and resolving conflicts between heirs, beneficiaries, and other interested parties. Call us today.
Estate Litigation Attorney: When Do You Need One?
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In creating an estate plan, people often assume that their estate will be handled exactly as they intended, without any disputes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Several factors contribute to increased trust and estate litigation, including diminished capacity, blended families, sibling rivalries, unfamiliarity with wills and trusts in different states, and the vast amount of wealth in trusts today.
Some family members file guardianship or conservatorship actions even before the primary wealthholder passes away.
When closing an estate, an estate litigation attorney can assist executors, beneficiaries, and administrators in resolving any disputes. Estate litigation lawyers can also ensure that estate law is followed.
For more legal advice and representation, contact The Law Office Office of Paul Black.
What Is Estate Litigation?
The term estate litigation refers to litigation dealing with disputes over the assets of a deceased individual. Most cases involve challenges to wills, either challenging them or declaring them invalid.
Other common disputes include challenges to the transfer of assets, trust disputes, and guardianship disputes. Estate litigation can be a complex and emotional process, and it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer.
The Estate Litigation Process
Estate litigation may become complicated because emotions may be running high. Additionally, the parties involved may still be mourning the death of their loved one. Estate litigation attorneys can take this burden from the family members.
It is vital to understand the steps estate litigation goes through. Here are the steps so that you can follow your case as your attorney handles the case:
Notice of application: During the probate process, all parties involved in the case must be notified of the application.
Respondents reply: The respondent is given a chance to respond to dispute your claims. A copy of their reply is sent to the applicant’s lawyer.
Applicants reply: The applicant has an opportunity to reply and provide further evidence to support their case.
Motions to the Judge: Both sides can make motions through the process. The motions can affect the course of the case. You may need a new approach depending on whether the judge dismisses or grants them.
Examination: At this stage, either party can question the other under oath.
Mediation: Mediation involves the participation of a neutral mediator who helps parties reach an amicable settlement of their disputes. Both parties share the cost of hiring a mediator. Each party can prepare a mediation brief, and the mediator may assist the parties in reaching a resolution.
Court Hearing: A case gets to this stage if the parties still disagree after mediation. A probate court judge will hear their case, make the final decision, and order make a final order. If the parties are unsatisfied, they can appeal to a higher court.