There’s a saying that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Many people prepare for their death by creating wills and other estate planning documents to leave instructions for how their assets should be distributed. Unfortunately, this planning doesn’t always prevent disputes and can lead to complex probate litigation. Johnson & Associates, PLLC prides itself on handling disputes in a wide array of forums, and that includes the probate courts. The firm represents executors, administrators, personal representatives, trustees, family members, beneficiaries, and other interested parties in a variety of probate-related disputes.
Common Causes of Probate Litigation
While there are many causes for probate litigation, the experienced probate litigation attorneys at Johnson & Associates, PLLC see some situations occur more often than others. The most common causes of probate litigation include:
- Will contests – Contested wills occur if the will is confusing, not valid, or if fraud is suspected in the drafting of the will.
- Capacity and competency – Probate litigation can arise if the mental capacity and competency of the individual is in question. Individuals suffering from mental decline may not be of sufficiently sound mind to make estate planning decisions.
- Fraud – Probate proceedings often involve executors or trustees. If this individual or individuals commit fraud relating to the assets they are charged with overseeing, it can lead to complex litigation.
- Multiple wills – It’s not unusual for people to draft multiple wills in their lifetime; however, if the preferred and dominant will is not clearly established before the testator dies, having multiple wills can lead to disputes over which document should govern.
- Conflicting interpretations – When a will isn’t written correctly, the language can become difficult to interpret. If two or more parties have differing interpretations of a will, litigation will ensue to determine the correct interpretation.
- Duress or undue influence – Any will or other estate planning document adopted under duress or the undue influence of another individual is not considered valid.
- Creditor’s claims – Creditors of the deceased may utilize the litigation process to recoup unpaid debts.
League City Probate Litigation Lawyers
The League City probate litigation lawyers at Johnson & Associates, PLLC understand the difficult time families experience following a death of a loved one, and during the probate process. Our firm works quickly and aggressively to help protect clients’ interests while preserving the assets of the estate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated lawyers to see how we can help.