Probate is a simple term for a sometimes lengthy, complex, and costly process by which the probate court determines the validity of wills, trusts, and other instruments and oversees the distribution of the assets in the decedent’s estate. It also provides a forum for legal will contests and estate disputes.
Within this relatively simple framework, many complications may arise, including:
- Will contests, which generally arise in cases where property was promised to an individual without an express intention specified in the will. This may also be an issue if the will was drafted when the decedent was incapacitated or incompetent.
- Interference with inheritance, or a claim that the decedent was improperly influenced by a family member or other person in the allocation of property or gifts.
- If a person dies intestate, i.e. lacking a will or other instrument of asset protection, litigation may be necessary to determine the rightful beneficiaries of the estate.
- Wrongful death, which may require the investigation into the death of a loved one, the filing of documents to open an estate, and the appointment of a person to serve as personal representative for the decedent.
If you are considering contesting a will or are the executor of an estate entering into probate, contact the offices of Robert W. York today to speak with a probate litigation attorney who has the experience to thoroughly assess your position and the stature and courtroom reputation to aggressively litigate on your behalf.
Avoiding Probate Litigation
Wise advance planning and diligent preparation are the important tools in avoiding probate litigation. — Robert W. York
It is ironic, perhaps, that one of the most effective ways to avoid probate litigation is to have representation from an aggressive and experienced probate lawyer.
Settling probate litigation matters through mediation or family compromise agreements is preferable to contentious litigation in terms of financial as well as emotional costs. If possible, we try to find a peaceful solution to will contests and other probate litigation matters.
Contact a tough litigator at the Indianapolis offices of Robert W. York to discuss the appropriate measures that can be taken to avoid contentious probate litigation.