What is Estate Litigation?
In the probate world, there are two types of litigation. There is trust litigation which deals with trusts set up by individuals for a variety of purposes. For a more in depth look at trust litigation you can read about it in our blog post titled “Trust Litigation”. Estate litigation deals with any types of lawsuits regarding the estate of a deceased person. This usually involves lawsuits contesting the validity of a will or the administration of a will.
Do I Have a Case?
There is almost always the potential for a lawsuit over a person’s estate. The most important questions to ask yourself are “Is it worth it?” and “Is there something wrong here?”. For the first question you need to look at whether the value of the estate is worth bringing a lawsuit. Estate litigation, as with any litigation, is generally expensive and it may not always make financial sense to litigate. Additionally, you may want to think about how this will affect your relationship with anyone else involved in the case.
The more important question of “Is there something wrong here?” determines if you can bring a case at all. For wills in California, there are very specific legal requirements to create a valid will and to allocate or not allocate certain property. Even if you do not suspect something as devious as a fraudulent will, if the will does not conform to the legal requirements, then you may be owed part of the estate. For example, if a person creates a will and later has a child but never changes the will, that child generally has a right to some share of the estate. For more specific details, you can read my other posts about will contests, estate administration, and inheritance disputes. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (310) 598-7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you determine the best step forward.