Probate litigation offers several opportunities for individuals to protect the final wishes of their deceased loved one if they feel that a wrong has been committed as part of the probate process. If you feel you need to take these steps, read below. The following is information regarding the probate litigation process.
Disputing The Appointment Of An Administrator
If an individual dies without a will in place, or that will does not formally appoint an executor for the estate, the court will be responsible for appointing an administrator to serve as executor. The decision regarding who is named as administrator will often be made based solely on the person's legal relationship with the deceased. For instance, if the individual was legally married at the time they died, the spouse will typically be appointed by the court. This decision may not reflect the wishes of the deceased if they were estranged from their spouse or they did not share children in common. In a situation such as this one, family members may wish to hire a probate litigation lawyer to help them dispute the decision and have a new administrator appointed.
Protect Against Excessive Fees
Your loved one worked hard for the assets they accumulated in their lifetime. The last thing they would want is to see those assets significantly reduced due to excessive administrator fees associated with the probate process. If you believe that the executor of a loved one's estate is charging excessive fees in order to complete their duties, you can use the probate litigation process to formally dispute these fees. A probate lawyer can provide evidence to the judge demonstrating the excessive fees. If you are able to successfully demonstrate that excess fees have been charged, the executor will be required to return any excess fees to the estate.
Contest The Validity Of A Will
Contesting a will does not necessarily mean fighting over the assets that are dispersed as a result of the execution of that will. In some cases, family members may feel as though their loved one was wrongfully influenced into making changes to their will that they did not fully understand or intend to make. For instance, if an illegitimate charity or other organization convinced your loved one to change their will at the last minute, probate litigation can help to prevent these individuals from actually taking possession of your loved one's assets.