The death of a loved one or family member can be very emotional, and sometimes disputes arise among family members regarding trusts or wills. An estate litigation attorney is often needed to help resolve issues over the estate including the division of assets, guardianship, and the validity of a will or a trust.
Even when a valid estate plan exists, there can be complexities, especially inblended families, who may contest based on diminished capacity, interstate issues, and power of attorney. Each case may represent its own unique circumstances that can result in disputes between family members and other beneficiaries. Sometimes a legal challenge is made based on allegations of illegal acts such as fraud or breach of trust by the executor or trustee that has been appointed. Whatever the dispute, having a trust and estate litigation attorney is essential for complying legally with final wishes.
How a trust and estate litigation attorney can help
Trust and estate litigation include processes such as conservatorship, guardianship, contested wills, allegations of fraud or claims of diminished capacity. Most people need help navigating complex laws and legal documents. The job of an estate litigation attorney is to guide the client through the court system, protecting their rights. Unresolved issues over trusts and estates can become emotional. By using a trust and estate litigation attorney, a client can expect to not only be guided through the legalities of the case but also work with an attorney who has experience dealing with emotionally charged family members.
Some common issues a trust and estate litigation attorney deals with are:
- Determining the validity of the will if one exists
- Resolving disputes between individuals who lay claim to a part of the estate
- Managing the assets and their distribution
- Serving as arbitrator in the estate’s assets
Other reasons to work with an estate litigation attorney are if the appointed trustee is mismanaging the estate, if there are sudden, recent changes to the will or other documents related to the estate, or if you need protection from others who are contesting the will.
Do you need an estate litigation attorney if there is no will?
Most people know the importance of preparing a will, but often they do not prepare one. When a person dies without leaving a will, the state refers to it as intestate and the state can step in to distribute the assets according to the succession laws. This can get confusing and complex because of business ownership, minor children, divorce and estranged family members. To help you save time and money, a trust and estate litigation attorney can evaluate documents and help you file the necessary paperwork with the court.