One thing that families have turned to more over time is the use of probate litigation. Probate litigation is more likely to involve large, valuable estates, but it can happen to any estate given the correct circumstances.
Probate litigation refers to a process during which the court decides what assets an estate contains, how to divide a person's estate and pay their taxes and expenses. The property is generally divided as the decedent dictated in their will, but litigation often comes when a beneficiary or family member wants to contest the will for some reason.
What are some common reasons to contest a will?
Some common reasons people contest a will include:
- Being angered by not receiving a portion of the assets (or any) from the decedent
- Claiming one person has received all the benefits unfairly
- Claiming that there was undue influence
- Disputing who can become the personal representative
- Failing to detail information on the creditors
- Differences of opinion about conservatorships or guardianships
There are other reasons that the will may be contested as well.
What should you do if you want to contest a will?
If you want to contest a will, you should know that it's rare for a will contest to work out in court. Usually, the decedent's wishes are adhered to. However, if you can prove that they were not of sound mind when making updates to a will or that they were unduly influenced, then you may have a good case against changes made to the will. There are other cases where contesting a will may be wise, too, which is something to discuss with an attorney.