The loss of a loved one is a difficult time for everyone involved. When the initial grief has passed, you may be surprised when disputes arise when it comes time to distribute the estate. Whether you are the one who is contesting the way the property is distributed, or you need to protect the estate from challenges, this can be an emotional time. In this post, we discuss three important things that you need to know about estate litigation.
The litigation will be extremely emotional
Most of these cases involve battles between family members or close friends. This could mean children who were excluded from a will or other family members that were purposely left out of estate planning documents. These individuals may feel that they are not able to receive their entitled share, and initiate litigation.
As you would expect, lawsuits that involve brothers, sisters and other loved ones can tear a family apart. Close family members may never speak to one another again because of what happens in these cases. The intense personal relationships among the people involved in the litigation can lead some to make extremely poor choices just to get past the matter. Do not let yourself make these mistakes.
Any disputes could tie up the estate for a significant period of time
When the estate becomes subject to litigation, the assets may not be distributed while the litigation is ongoing. This could mean that the intended beneficiaries, who may need these assets to make ends meet, will have to wait until a final decision has been reached in the case.
This can increase the frustration and stress levels of those involved in the case, which could again lead to pressure to make bad decisions. If you are facing a situation like this, make sure that you take the time to carefully evaluate all of your options before you make any final decisions.
You will benefit greatly from the assistance of an experienced attorney
You may think that you understand the issues that need to be addressed in your case. You may feel that you have all of the evidence necessary to establish your specific objectives in your case.
While you may think you have what you need to achieve your goals, estate litigation is a very sophisticated area of law. These cases are often much more complicated than they appear on their face. In many cases, there will be extensive investigations necessary to determine the true intent that was present at the time the will, trust or other documents were created.
It is important that you work with a law firm that has extensive experience in estate litigation. You should not just settle for someone who has courtroom experience; you have to find an attorney who has handled cases involving these specific issues. It can be the difference between winning and losing your case.