When you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to worry about is how to settle these estate and if there will be legal problems. It is a difficult time without worrying about probate litigation, but unfortunately, there are many that have to worry about litigation, as the estate was not properly settled. At Henry & Beaver, LLP., we are here to help you defend your rights and the rights of your deceased loved one, so that you can grieve in peace. The most common litigation causes after the death of a loved one are will contests and challenges and the breach of fiduciary duty. We want to discuss each of these, to help you understand your rights.
Will Contests and Will Challenges
If you or another are dissatisfied with the will, you may dispute the validity or the will or challenge it. In order to challenge a will, you must have standing. This means that you have to prove that you will gain or lose something based off of the current will. For example, if your father dies and leave his estate to his girlfriend instead of you, there will be proof that you are losing something and therefore you will have standing to proceed with the challenge.
Once “standing” has been determined, you must have grounds for the challenge. They can range from forgery to fraud to failure to meet legal requirements. You must be able to prove that the will was inaccurate based on one of those grounds.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A fiduciary is a person or entity that holds a relationship of trust and responsibility for another. In the event of a death, the executor or executrix had the obligation to settle the estate as the deceased desired. If you believe that the fiduciary did not fulfill his or her responsibilities and it resulted in harm or financial loss, you may be able to file a claim against the fiduciary. An estate administration attorney can help you file the claim and bring the estate administrator before a judge to explain his or her actions.
If you have questions about a loved one’s will, contact the Lebanon estate attorneys at Henry & Beaver, LLP. We can help you review the will and determine if you have a viable case. Call 717-274-3644 to schedule a initial consultation.