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What is probate litigation, and how can it help me?

If your loved one recently passed away, you want to remember that person in a positive light. Your family is suffering, and you are grieving as well. The last thing you want to do is to cause a stir, but if the will of the deceased isn't fair or has changed suddenly from what it was in the past, you may feel the need to contest it.

What is probate litigation?

Probate litigation is simply when a will is being contested. Wills can be contested for various reasons, but it's most likely to be contested if the beneficiaries or those who think they should be beneficiaries find problems with how the deceased's property is distributed by the will.

A will can be contested because of one beneficiary gaining full benefits from the will, if a person claims there has been an undue influence on the deceased, if there are beneficiaries who have not been given an inventory of the property, or if there are differences of opinion on conservatorships or guardianships.

Other reasons to contest a will include disputes over who takes over as a personal representative of the deceased, about the creditors owed money, or about beneficiaries failing to complete fiduciary duties.

If you have a complaint about a will, it's important to seek out help from your attorney as soon as possible; there are time limits in place that could prevent you from challenging the will if you wait too long. If you can avoid going to court, that can be beneficial to the family; consider how probate litigation will affect your relationships. The will was designed to help avoid disputes among the family, to safeguard the deceased's wealth, to resolve tax liabilities, to get the most benefits from the property, and to come to an amicable solution in accordance to the deceased's wishes.

Source: Newsmax, "What Is Probate Litigation?," accessed June 24, 2016

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