What Is Probate Litigation?

If you are an executor of a will, a beneficiary, or involved with a will in some way, you should understand how probate litigation works. A probate lawyer is needed when anyone challenges a will. The following are some things you need to know about probate litigation:

What Does Probate Litigation Mean?

Probate litigation is when someone disputes probate, which is the period of time that the state recognizes the administrator of the estate. Probate begins when the administrator or executor of a will provides a death certificate to the state. Once the state recognizes the death certificate and verifies the person is deceased, the executory process begins.

If there is anyone who objects to some or all of the contents of the will, probate litigation begins. The objecting party can hire an attorney to file a legal claim.

Why Would Probate Litigation Happen?

When it comes to probate litigation, there are many scenarios in which someone can object to a will. If a person believes they are entitled to a portion of the estate of the deceased, they can enter probate litigation to have the state sort out the details and determine if the person is actually owed anything from the estate.

If family members are fighting over an estate with no will in place and there is no administrator in place to sort out the estate, the estate would enter probate litigation. If the deceased chose an administrator and the family does not feel the person chosen for this role is adequate, they can also challenge the state to name another administrator.

If anyone involved in the estate believes the estate was not charged properly by its representative or of any party to the estate believes the administrator or executor is not being upfront and honest about the estate details, the family can challenge this through probate litigation.

Probate litigation can also come into play when trusts are part of an estate. Most people set up trusts before they pass away when they have a dedicated cause or need for their estate. For instance, a person may set up a trust for their children's college tuition. This ensures the money in the trust is used for that purpose. If there is ever a dispute over a trust in an estate, the probate litigation process must take place to determine if there was any misconduct or to settle a dispute about the trust.