No matter how carefully an estate is planned, probate disputes can still happen. As with other legal disputes, probate disputes may be resolved by settlement, or may require litigation and possibly, a trial.
The probate litigation attorneys at Hulse & Wynter are prepared to represent clients contesting or defending wills and other probate matters. Here are some of the common causes for probate litigation that we handle.
Writings intended as wills: Wills must be written and executed in strict accordance with the law. If the testator (the party who made the will) or their representatives failed to follow proper procedures, or if the original will is lost, the will may need to be probated through the filing of a verified complaint and order for hearing.
Will contests: A will contest is a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, based on the contention that the will does not reflect the actual intent of the testator or that the will is otherwise invalid. In some instances a caveat is filed to prevent the probate of a will believed to be invalid.
Lack of capacity: An heir may challenge a will’s validity if they believe the decedent lacked the mental capacity when the will was created.
Undue influence: If an heir believes someone influenced the decedent into creating a will not in accordance with their true wishes, the heir may bring a probate dispute.
Breach of fiduciary duty: A fiduciary, such as an executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee, is someone empowered and entrusted to fulfill the decedent’s wishes. If they fail to act in accordance with the decedent’s wishes or with the law, they may be removed as fiduciary, surcharged, and/or their actions may be undone through litigation. A fiduciary’s breach of their duty may involve fraud, abuse of authority, failure to administer or account, and/or or other misconduct.
Dedication and diplomacy
At Hulse & Wynter, our clients’ interests are of the utmost importance. Whether efficiently administering an estate or litigating disputes, our dedication shows in our work and in our clients’ satisfaction. And when litigation threatens to damage family relationships, our diplomacy can help you make the best of a trying situation.
If you need an attorney to represent you in contested or uncontested probate matters, call Hulse & Wynter today or use the form below to start a conversation with us.
Probate is the judicial process of establishing the validity of a deceased person’s will. Commonly, probate can also refer to the process of administering the decedent’s estate, which may include:
- Client counseling
- Letters testamentary and short certificates
- Marshaling of assets
- Creditor claims and debts
- Inheritance tax waivers
- Inheritance and estate tax returns
- Administrator appointments
- Probate v. non-probate assets
- Intestate succession issues
- Elective share elections
- Ancillary administration
- Abatement/ademption issues
- Estate accounting
- Child support judgment searches
- Refunding bonds and releases
- Asset distribution
It is often important to have an experienced probate attorney to guide administrators and executors through the process of administering an estate. Skilled legal representation will allow the process to be concluded as quickly as possible, allowing your loved one’s wishes to be fulfilled and bringing you the closure you need.
When probate matters are contested, however, the process can be lengthy, complex, and a probate attorney’s assistance is indispensable.
For more info, call our offices:
We look forward to speaking with you!
Always quality representation
Every case we handle comes with its own unique set of challenges, but we are ready to meet them all. We're fully equipped to meet the legal needs of everyone from individual clients to large corporations, no matter how complex your situation may be. Get in touch with us using the form on this page or call our offices at 609 387-5300 today.