Probate proceedings are often required following the death of someone, and in many cases, these proceedings can get become complex or overwhelming. According to a new survey from Caring.com, only about 4 in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. Without a will or living trust, this judicial process can be difficult. Let’s look at four common reasons for probate litigation and how a probate lawyer can provide expert assistance.
1. The Validity of a Will is Being Questioned
One common reason for probate litigation is that someone is questioning the validity of a will that was properly put in place. This can happen if someone discovers a newer version of the will than that which was submitted to the court. Most people will develop several versions of their will throughout the course of their lifetime. This is necessary because circumstances that affect the will can change. These types of changes could include divorce, re-marriage, births of children, death of a spouse, death of children, changes in financial situation, and more. A probate lawyer can help with these issues.
2. Allegations of Undue Influence
Another reason why a will may be called into question, or why probate litigation may be needed would be if there are allegations that there was undue influence. Undue influence means that someone who has been favored in the will may have exerted some type of control over the testator. This can happen in many different ways, and because of the complexities involved in this type of accusation, you will need the help of a probate lawyer.
3. Testator’s Capacity is Interrogated
When the capacity of the testator is called lacking, probate litigation may be needed. This is often coupled with accusations of undue influence. There needs to be adequate proof that the testator had the mental capacity to know exactly what they were preparing and signing. This can often be seen in cases in which the testator has Alzheimer’s or dementia.
4. Exclusion of Legal Heirs
If a legitimate legal heir was left out of a will, there are grounds for litigation. In some states, it’s illegal to disinherit a spouse or child. In these types of cases, the adult child or spouse can fight for their inheritance.
If you believe that you will need help with probate litigation, please contact Curbelo & Romero today. Our team can help you with complex legal matters.