Although you may be familiar with the term “probate” as it relates to asset distribution after someone’s death, probate litigation is a specific circumstance within this field. Probate courts deal with matters relating to the debts and property of a person who has died.
Probate litigation concerns conflicts regarding the property and debts of the deceased. Even if a person had a will when they passed away, conflicts can sometimes arise regarding will contests and other matters that require going through the court system. This is where probate litigation plays a role. If you are facing conflicts in an inheritance or property from a family member, probate litigation may be something you need to look into.
Types of probate disputes
Probate disputes can arise in a variety of different situations regarding the estate of a deceased family member. For example, property is often at stake when someone dies, and it can happen that even if a person has a will, family members may contest the validity of that will. This can result in a dispute that ends up in probate litigation. Sometimes, a family member who is not in a will may choose to contest it.
Another type of probate dispute is breach of fiduciary duty. This occurs when the fiduciary – the person entrusted to administer the affairs for the person who died – did something that went against the deceased person’s wishes or took advantage of the decedent in a way that did not ensure the obligation of acting in the person’s best interest.
What to do when conflict arises
Family conflicts over inheritances, property, trusts and other matters are quite common when a family member dies and leaves behind assets such as property or a business. Wills do not ensure asset distribution in a conflict-free manner. Conflict can escalate quickly when someone suspects wrongdoing.
Probate litigation cases require the assistance of a qualified attorney who works with these matters. It can be in your best interest to have a consultation with a probate attorney, who can advise you about potential strategies you can pursue as well as the legal ramifications of your situation.