Dealing with the passing of a loved one is always difficult and can become even more so if a dispute arises over their estate. Disputes can arise in many forms, but they primarily fall into one of two categories: contesting the validity of a will or disputing the actions of a fiduciary.
When contesting the validity of a last will and testament, evidence will be key. You’ll need to show that the person who created the will either did so while under the undue influence of another, while they lacked the mental capacity to create the document, or that they were not involved at all and the will has been forged.
When you speak with an estate attorney about the dispute, they’ll guide you through important questions to help establish the order of events and assist you in locating and gathering the necessary evidence.
Ultimately, the dispute will need to be resolved through the state courts, where your attorney will present your evidence and argue that the will in question is invalid and therefore should be thrown out.
The other main category of estate disputes arises when a fiduciary either fails to act or does so improperly. The word “fiduciary” when referring to estate matters can include those in various roles including executor, administrator, power of attorney and trustee.
Anyone in these roles is tasked with certain responsibilities that they are required to perform, whether it is gathering estate assets, paying off debts, creating trusts or distributing those assets either in accordance with a last will or state law.
If anyone in one of these roles either fails to act or does so improperly, such as distributing assets to the wrong person, then you may need to litigate in state court to either remove them from this role or force them to act appropriately under the circumstances.
Oftentimes this litigation will be between family members and can become both heated and complex. When you work with an estate attorney they will guide you through this process while also ensuring that your rights are protected and your inheritance is received. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your matter.
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