Probate Litigation Lawyers in Orange County
The probate of a will does not often signify a happy time in life, but is often the end of a loved one’s life. This emotional time is made harder by the realization that family members have to go through the added frustration and expense of probate. If another person or creditor questions the validity of a will or trust litigation, you may find yourself embroiled in probate litigation, which requires the expertise of an experienced probate litigation attorney in Orange County.
Probating a Will
The process to probate a will is quite easy in California. The executor submits the will to the Superior Court for review and begins to take inventory of the estate to initially pay creditors all remaining bills. After this point, the remaining assets are divided per the instructions of the will. However, in limited cases a will may be sent to court to determine whether it is valid or whether any people who were left off the will should be included. This is especially problematic in cases where the decedent may have been influenced near the end of their lives.
Issues that can occur during probate litigation often stem from:
- Undue influence
- Breach of fiduciary duty
These are issues that arise especially in elderly testators who are surrounded by people who may take advantage of their declining health and work themselves into the will. These types of people – nursing home attendees and distant relatives – often spend weeks or months working their magic on the testator and continuously berate their family members, commenting on their lack of visitation or communication. Over time, an elderly testator may begin to believe that their family does not deserve an inheritance and will change their will to provide for the influential person who is always around. If this type of undue influence caused a rightful heir to be left out of the will, a court must know this and consider all the facts and circumstances of the will. Additionally, a person may exert more than just their psychological control over an elderly or incapacitated person, but may physically force them to change their estate planning documents as well.
A probate litigation attorney will be able to help you collect the data you need to prove your case in probate court, including medical records, prior wills, and any other evidence that can help prove the mindset of the decedent at the time they drafted their will. It is often a matter of proving that they were incapacitated during this time and at the mercy of a few people.
Boyd Law | Orange County, California Probate Litigation Attorneys
If you are going through the unpleasant process of probate litigation, contact the experienced attorneys of Boyd Law. Our attorneys are experienced in many different types of law, which all play a part in probate litigation. Their background in litigation and estate law collectively create a firm ground to administer a strategy in probate litigation proceedings. Contact our Orange County office today for your initial free consultation.