The general idea around a probate court is to give ordinary people access to basic functions of the law so no one is ever unheard. In the modern age, this applies mostly to the legal functions surrounding a person's estate. Sometimes, a person left no estate plan. So how is the fate of their property and money decided?
Your father passed away, and it was with his death that your parents' estate was ready to be passed on to you and your siblings. When you saw the will, you were taken aback by its contents. Only your two other siblings were included, and you were left out completely.
Probate is the legal process of transferring property from your estate to another party following your death. Laws associated with probate have changed over the years. They continue to change. This is why attorneys generally advise you to review your estate plan at least during major life changes.
Sometimes, there are will contests over the validity of a will. If there is any concern that a will is not valid, then the beneficiaries may turn to the court to find out the opinion of the judge. They may contest what's inside and show why they believe it should not be valid.
As an heir to your parents' estate, nothing could have been more shocking than finding out that you'd been removed from the will. The trust your parents had set up was revocable, and it had been revoked before they died. You were left with nothing, but how? You're an only child and the only heir to their assets.
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 challenging all or part of a person's last will and testament, the appointment of an estate's personal representative or other parts of a person's estate plan.
Probate is often a necessary part of estate distribution after the death of a loved one, but it's not always an easy part. Depending on how the estate was designed, it can be a long and tedious process to go through probate and eventually settle the estate.
Inheritance disputes happen more often than one might think, primarily because people believe that they're entitled to a loved one's assets. In some cases, they may have been told they'd receive something that they later did not. In other cases, they feel unfairly treated by the decedent.
Challenging a will isn't easy; in the vast majority of cases, decedent and his or her attorneys will have appropriately drafted and executed the will. However, if the right circumstances exist, it's certainly is possible to successfully challenge a will on legal grounds.