Mistakes That Could Result In Probate Litigation

Probate is merely a legal process that manages the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. Because that is a general and straightforward explanation of what happens, probate courts handle other things to facilitate this process.

After someone passes away, not only is a probate court going to determine if a will was written, but they are going to ensure it is legal and valid. And the heirs are not the only people they must consider. Any taxes that were owed by the estate have to be paid. If the deceased owed money at the time of their passing, the creditors would file claims. Those debts don’t go away.

And lastly, there may be disputes amongst the heirs and beneficiaries that could lead to litigation. Here are some common mistakes that may lead to probate litigation. 

Knowing Your Options

Proper legal counseling is going to advise you of all of your options. The first question you may ask him is if creating a will is enough to stand on its own and protect your assets. You will likely discover that your estate plan is a series of documents. Each one needs to be chosen to fit your legal needs and specific circumstances. 

For instance, you can avoid probate entirely by choosing a type of trust to create. There are different kinds of trusts, each one with its own legal benefits and drawbacks. But your attorney can advise you on these. 

On top of letting you know the whole gambit of choices at your disposal, an attorney will also create them—correctly. A high degree of peace of mind comes with knowing your estate has been handled by a professional you can depend on. 

Protecting Yourself During Probate

If you find yourself in probate, the situation can spiral if there is a lack of oversight or control. For example, if the executor of the estate has to pay creditors and distribute assets. If assets are distributed before creditors have been repaid, then the executor may find themselves liable for that debt. 

And if there are several creditors, which ones get paid first? Laws govern this. There is even a requirement to notify creditors of someone’s passing—and steps to take to notify unknown creditors that an estate is now in probate. Your attorney will advise you how long probate must be kept open to give these creditors the time to file a claim. 

Luis E. Barreto & Associates

At Luis E. Barreto & Associates, we proudly represent clients for a wide variety of estate disputes. If you anticipate being involved in probate litigation or have been accused of executor wrongdoing, contact us for your free initial consultation.

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