A probate litigation attorney can be extremely helpful during difficult times. Disputes in probate cases often quickly get out of hand. Family feuds may start or become worse, feelings are hurt – and all this is happening while you are still grieving for the loss of a loved one. Don’t try to handle this alone. Instead, call a probate litigation attorney who can do a lot for you, including the following seven things.
#1. Identify issues with a Will or probate case.
The average person will find the laws surrounding estate planning and probate challenging to understand. It would be easy to overlook a problem or fail to understand the consequences of the language included in a Will or actions taken during a probate case. Failing to find these issues and deal with them can be costly.
A probate litigation attorney has the in-depth knowledge needed to see problems in a probate case and the experience to know how to handle them.
#2. Contest a Will.
Sometimes people disagree about Wills. Fights about bequests are common, as well as claims that the Will is invalid because the testator – the person who signed the Will – was coerced into signing it. No matter the source of contention, beneficiaries and family members could end up in court.
Attorneys who specialize in probate litigation understand how and when to contest a Will.
#3. Defend against a Will contest.
In any Will contest, you will find at least one person on each side of the fight. People on one side might file a lawsuit against other family members, who then become defendants in the lawsuit.
Your probate litigation attorney will know how to analyze the facts of the case and formulate a defense against the other party’s claims.
#4. Address executor misconduct.
People who prepare and sign Wills generally name an executor in their Will. Sometimes the executor will be a personal friend or family member, but the hope is always that you can trust the executor with handling your estate.
Unfortunately, executors may handle estate assets inappropriately or make decisions based on their own personal interests. The estate may lose money, which eventually deprives the beneficiaries of the inheritance they should have received.
Probate litigation attorneys can help you identify and deal with executor misconduct if the need arises.
#5. Remove executors when necessary.
In some cases, executors cannot be trusted anymore. They may steal estate assets or fail to move the estate through probate promptly. When someone isn’t doing their job, it may be time to fire them.
Here, again, your probate litigation attorney is your best bet for removing an executor who has gone rogue or is simply incompetent.
#6. Navigate the court system.
Taking a probate case from beginning to end involves contact with court clerks and judges. Executors and administrators have to file a petition to start probating a Will, then comply with any estate administration requirements and court orders.
The situation becomes even more stressful when disputes arise and someone files a probate lawsuit. Most people have never been to court except perhaps for jury duty, so both filing a lawsuit and defending against one will be challenging.
However, your probate litigation attorney understands the system from both plaintiff and defendant viewpoints. Having a knowledgeable lawyer by your side can ease your stress and help your case be successful.
#7. Negotiate a settlement or represent you at trial.
At some point in your case, the parties might try to work out a settlement. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, your case might be headed for trial.
In either case, your probate litigation attorney’s assistance will be invaluable. Your lawyer will represent you at negotiations or trial armed with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
Call to speak with a probate litigation attorney.
The attorneys at Henke, Williams & Boll assist clients like you with probate litigation and other matters. But we don’t just help a little. We win cases through aggressive representation using extensive knowledge of the Texas legal system.
For a free consultation or phone appointment, call 713-940-4500 or use the convenient contact form located on our website. [link to website]. We represent clients in the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, and Brazoria County.