Will Dispute Attorneys
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What Is a Will Dispute?
A will dispute occurs when a person or entity has a conflict regarding how property is being distributed through a will document. This is usually brought up by one of the recipients (beneficiaries) who are mentioned in the will. A will dispute can also be filed by a party that wasn’t named in the will (for instance, if they feel that they should have been named).
Most will disputes or will contests arise after the person’s death, when the estate is being handled by the administrator. This is because many people do not know the exact contents and details of the will until the estate holder has actually become deceased. Due to this fact, many will disputes involve the representation of the estate administrator.
What Are Some Examples of Will Disputes?
There can be many different legal issues involved in will disputes. Some of these include:
- Disputes over which person receives which item of property (i.e., will distribution)
- Disputes involving property debt or outstanding taxes
- Disputes over the timing in which property becomes available for a beneficiary to collect
- Conflicts over monetary funds being distributed amongst relatives, friends or other interested parties
- Conflicts involving the interpretation or application of various state laws (especially if the person has recently moved or changed residences)
Some wills may contain a no-contest clause if the state allows it, and if the testator so desires. This is a statement stating that any beneficiary who files a will contest will be disqualified from receiving any distributions from the will document.
How Are Will Disputes Handled?
As mentioned, most will disputes occur after the creator of the will has already passed away. Since they are unable to address the legal issue, any will disputes must usually be handled. Many contested wills end up being processed by a probate court, which is overseen by a judge who specializes in will disputes. The probate process can often be complicated and may extend the overall distribution process for the estate.
Some common remedies for a will dispute include a monetary damages award to compensate parties for their losses. Alternatively, the judge may order a re-organization of the way that the property is distributed.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Will Dispute?
Wills are very complicated documents that generally require the assistance of an estate lawyer. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need help with the drafting, reviewing, or editing of a will document. Also, an attorney can assist you if you are involved with a will dispute or if you need to file a lawsuit.
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Last Modified: 05-18-2015 10:53 AM PDT
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