Estate Litigation Lawyer at The Law Office of Paul Black

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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.

Author: Paul Black

Paul’s experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led him to the work he does today and gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges that many caregivers and family members face. After graduation from GSU Law, Paul was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation Law & Aging Fellows. Paul has been named as  a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the area of Estate Planning and as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Published on: November 06, 2023.

Estate Litigation Attorney: When Do You Need One?

When Do You Need One sect

It’s never too early to start planning for your family’s future.

If you have questions, I’m here to help. There is no commitment and we provide free initial 15-minute phone calls. We look forward to meeting you.

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.

What May Lead to Estate Disputes

Estate disputes can arise for several reasons. Here are common causes of estate disputes:

  • There is disagreement among the decedent’s heirs regarding who should serve as executor of the estate

  • A contest over a trust or a will

  • The failure of the executor or administrator to share estate information

  • A misappropriation of estate property or the destruction of it

  • Fraudulent wills

  • When someone used undue influence to get a property of the estate

  • If the beneficiaries or heirs do not trust that the executor or administrator will be fair

Due to the complexity of estate litigation, disputes are inevitable. A good estate and trust litigation lawyer can help you through the process of estate litigation.

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.

Contact the office of Paul Black Today! Work with Trusted Estate Litigation Lawyers

Estate litigation is a complex process. The process becomes complicated at times due to the emotions of the parties involved. They may also take up the time they should be mourning their loved ones.

You can get assistance from The Law Office of Paul Black. We will help you find a solution to your problem and work with the other parties. Our estate litigation attorneys understand the sensitivity of estate issues. We work closely with you during the entire process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

We can assist you with filing your appeal and collecting the necessary documents. Our team can represent you during mediation to ensure your interests are heard. We can also represent you in court if mediation doesn’t work.

Aside from helping our clients resolve trust and estate disputes, we also provide legal counsel and representation in all aspects of estate law. Among them are probate and estate administration, asset protection, business succession planning, and trust and estate litigation. We also provide guidance and support to clients undergoing probate.

Contact our office today and let us talk about the services we may offer you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Estate Litigation Take? 

An estate settlement does not have a deadline. It can take anywhere from 6 months to years for an estate to be settled, sometimes even longer. Mediation takes less time than trial if there are fewer disputes. 

Who Becomes the Administrator of a Decedent’s Estate if They Died Without a Will?

In some cases, the surviving spouse or a sole heir becomes an administrator. Heirs may also select an administrator, but the court has to approve their choice. The court may also select an administrator if they reject the heir’s choice. 

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