What Are The Most Common Probate Disputes?
The loss of a loved one is devastating to any family. Finalizing their estate should not have to cause more emotional trauma. However, there are many instances when families and friends begin to quarrel over what they believe they should inherit from the estate.
A probate dispute can extend the length of time it takes to settle the estate, cause a significant increase in the legal and administration fees on the estate, and cause hard feelings between family and friends. Some of the most common disputes occur over:
• Different versions of the Last Will and Testament of the deceased. Sometimes there are handwritten amendments or different versions of the actual Will.
• Verbal promises. Many people will approach the administrator of the estate and tell them that they were told they would receive a specific asset, even though it was not written down.
• Unfairness. Sometimes people do not divide their assets equally among their heirs, this is not illegal. However, many heirs do not agree with the choices of the person who made the Will.
• Unknown assets are discovered. During the administration of the estate, unknown assets are discovered that were not assigned to any beneficiaries.
When You Wish To Dispute The Distribution Of An Estate
Attorney Todd Alexander recommends that anyone who is disputing an estate consider working with the family and the administrator prior to seeking legal assistance. While this may seem contrary to what an attorney would say, the truth is, many of these disputes can be handled by open and honest communication between all of the parties.
Sometimes the administrator does not realize that a certain item has a special meaning to the person who is questioning the Will. Approaching the other beneficiaries may just result in that person receiving what they want without harming anyone else’s inheritance.
However, if you cannot settle the probate dispute among the beneficiaries and the estate administrator, it is important to seek legal guidance from an attorney like Todd Alexander who handles estate and probate cases.