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Reasons why the probate process may include litigation

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2022 | Probate & Estate Administration |

The probate process is not designed to be difficult and messy. However, sometimes, if enough questions, disagreements and suspected wrongdoing surface, probate litigation may be the only option for resolution.

Mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty by the executor may be the cause. Seemingly “unresolvable” disputes among heirs and beneficiaries may trigger this into happening as well as questions regarding the will’s authenticity. But these issues need addressing.

Executor blunders and will challenges

In such scenarios, an experienced and assertive attorney can provide the guidance necessary to steady an unsteady probate process.

Some of the more common reasons that an estate enters litigation during the probate process include:

  • Egregious problems related to the executor: The ideal executor must be trustworthy, and prepared, and protects the estate. However, sometimes, beneficiaries discover that the opposite may hold true when the executor misuses or steals estate assets, has no sense of organization and fails to protect the estate. It is necessary to remove an incompetent and dishonest executor from the role.
  • The challenge of the will’s contents: Serious questions about the will’s authenticity will lead to litigation. A forged document will do that, and so can a person’s undue influence over the testator when creating the will. Fraud and improper execution are other reasons for challenging a will.
  • Scrutiny over certain aspects within the will: Guardianship disputes may lead to a vociferous challenge and tug-of-war. A person who had a rightful claim on specific assets may have been left out of the will. Unreasonable charges related to executor fees may lead to protests by the beneficiaries.

Such complications may surface. When they do, though, they must prompt attention.

A dependable legal ally

Litigation may be necessary for resolution. In these circumstances, the probate process promises to be even more expensive and time-consuming than expected. Such a scenario demonstrates the need for having a dependable attorney in your corner.