The probate process was created to make sure a deceased person’s wishes are followed. Probate is often an emotionally challenging time for survivors; it can be difficult to deal with the complicated legal aspects of the process while grieving the loss of a loved one. Any person who expects to navigate the probate process should enlist the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. The following are some of the most common issues that can arise during the probate process.
Will contests can occur under a number of conditions. Most often, someone will contest the will because they claim the person who wrote it lacked testamentary capacity. This could mean that the testator (the person who passed away) was delusional, the victim or perpetrator of fraud, was under undue influence, or that other factors indicate that the will does not reflect the intent of its creator. A will may also be contested when a beneficiary has a confidential or fiduciary relationship with the testator that unduly influences the terms of the will.
Disputes Involving the Interpretation of Wills or Trusts
Trusts and wills can be challenging to understand. Sometimes, these estate planning documents are difficult to comprehend due to the presence of statements that are unclear or included in the document in error. These mistakes have the potential to significantly impact how beneficiaries are awarded. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you decipher these documents to determine what options are available.
Challenges to Inter Vivos Transfers
When a person uses a will or trust to leave property to a loved one, there is a risk that someone will challenge the validity of how the estate is administered. While challenges to assets after a person’s death are common, these disputes can also occur during the testator’s lifetime. Inter vivos transfers are those that a testator makes during the course of his or her lifetime. Inter vivos gifts are frequently challenged on grounds of fraud and undue influence.
Actions Related to the Appointment of an Administrator
An administrator is an individual who oversees an estate that does not have an executor. There are several reasons why an estate might not have an executor. The deceased person might not have left behind a will, the will might be declared invalid, or the will might fail to nominate an executor. In these situations, courts will decide who inherits an estate based on the appropriate state intestacy laws and then select the appropriate administrator. If a person is interested in becoming an administrator for an estate, he or she must file a petition in court. To make sure that this is done correctly, it is often critical to obtain the assistance of legal counsel who has experience navigating the probate process.
Speak with an Experienced Probate Lawyer
These are just some of the most common ways in which probate disputes arise. Each case is different, of course, and involves unique consideration. Our legal counsel has significant experience in estate planning and can help you navigate any issue that may arise. Contact the lawyers of Dworken & Bernstein today to obtain the assistance you need.