Probate litigation is an area of the law that deals with resolving disputes over a deceased person’s estate. Cases can involve many issues, including challenging a will or trust, contesting an executor or administrator’s actions, or seeking to recover assets from the estate that may have been misappropriated. If you’re considering pursuing probate litigation, there are other issues that can require probate litigation, including the following:
- Trust Reformation or Modification: Trust reformation or modification lawsuits may be necessary if beneficiaries of a trust are unsatisfied with its terms. A probate lawsuit allows beneficiaries the opportunity to petition the court for a modification of a trust to align it with the settlor's original intent. For example, if the settlor intended certain assets to go to certain parties, but those assets were neglected in the trust, a court may modify it to reflect the settlor’s wishes.
- To Challenge a Will or Trust: Petitioners may challenge a will or trust if they believe it wasn’t created per state law, was written under duress, contains errors or omissions, or was not properly executed by all involved parties. Clients may pursue probate litigation if they think that a will or trust was not written correctly and should be changed.
- To Contest an Executor/Administrator’s Actions: If an executor or administrator of an estate has taken actions that are not in the best interest of the decedent or their beneficiaries, a client might pursue probate litigation to contest those actions. Clients typically pursue probate litigation to contest an executor/administrator's actions if they believe those actions are not in line with what the decedent wanted or are not in the best interest of their beneficiaries.
- Challenge the Appointment or Conduct of a Guardian: Sometimes, people want to contest the person who has been appointed as a guardian. They may not think the chosen person is the right choice and want to replace them. Probate litigation can force the issue before the court to determine fitness of the guardian and decide if they should be changed.
- To Recover Assets from an Estate: Clients may also seek to recover assets from the estate that were misappropriated by the executor/administrator or other parties involved. This could include funds that have been used for personal gain rather than distributed according to the decedent’s wishes.
- To Obtain More Information: Clients may also seek more information regarding their relative’s estate through probate litigation in order to ensure they receive what they are entitled to receive.
- To Terminate a Trust: When a trust is established, the terms are outlined to provide assets for the beneficiary or beneficiaries. In some cases, however, the trust's purpose can become impracticable and no longer serve its intended function. When this occurs, clients may pursue probate litigation to terminate the trust and ensure that its assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased.
- Suits by Beneficiaries Against a Fiduciary: Sometimes, people who have been given the job of taking care of someone's estate may not perform as required. Their responsibility to the estate is called fiduciary responsibility. Beneficiaries can go to court and sue the person if they think the designee did not follow the law or a legal document related to their relative's estate.
It is important that anyone considering legal action consult with an experienced probate litigation attorney to determine the best course of action. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide guidance regarding the laws and regulations related to probate litigation in California, as well as advise clients on their rights and options. With the help of qualified counsel, clients can ensure that their interests are adequately represented throughout the process.
Benefits of a Qualified Probate Litigation Attorney
When pursuing probate litigation, having a qualified attorney on your side who can provide guidance and ensure your rights are adequately represented is important. With the help of an experienced and knowledgeable probate litigation lawyer, you can benefit from their expertise.
An experienced probate litigation attorney can provide invaluable services, including:
- Understanding California's Laws and Regulations: A qualified attorney is familiar with the laws and regulations related to probate litigation in California, helping to ensure that all legal requirements have been met throughout the process.
- Advising On Your Rights and Options: Your lawyer can advise you on your rights and options related to estate planning, trust administration, or other probate matters. They will be able to provide guidance on any potential disputes or challenges that may arise while handling the estate.
- Representing Your Interests: An attorney can represent your interests throughout the process to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to and protect you from any potential liabilities or risks associated with probate litigation.
Contact the Experienced Probate Litigation Attorney at the Law Office of Mitchell A. Port
Finding a qualified attorney well-versed in probate litigation is essential when dealing with disputes over a deceased person’s estate. Attorney Port specializes in probate law and has experience handling estate and trust cases in California. Call (310) 526-3433 to schedule a consultation with our team, and we can discuss your case and decide on a strategy that best suits your needs.