The probate process is mystifying to some people who haven’t ever had to deal with it before. Some people think that when a family member passes away, you just divide up his or her stuff and move on with life. This isn’t usually what needs to happen.
Many people pass away with an estate plan in place. Even when the person doesn’t have one in place, there is still a certain order that needs to be followed for passing out assets. When these aren’t handled in the right manner, there is a chance that the estate will end up in probate litigation.
An estate that has to go through the probate litigation process usually involves some disagreement between family members about what is going to go to who. In cases that have other parties in an established estate plan, those parties, which might include charities, will take part in the process.
The reasons why a person would want to challenge a will can vary, but in order to do so in court, the person has to have a legal interest in the outcome of the probate process. There also has to be a valid reason, such as the decedent being coerced into changing a will prior to his or her death.
While probate litigation can resolve issues regarding the estate, it does have downsides. It is often very expensive and can be time-consuming. This can have a direct impact on what each heir receives at the end of the case, so think carefully about how to proceed if you are involved in a probate litigation issue.
Source: NewsMax, “What Is Probate Litigation?,” accessed April 20, 2018