Contested Probate

When a loved one, friend, relative dies, a system must be in place to transfer the decedent's property to the intended beneficiaries in an orderly manner. That system is called probate and its specifics are generally different in each state. In some cases, it is a simple process involving clerks in the probate court who do the majority of the work required by the court rules. When the heirs, beneficiaries or those who believe they should be heirs or beneficiaries disagree, a contested probate litigation usually ensues.

Contested actions may involve: the ability of the decedent to make or understand the contents of the alleged will; undue influence exerted by the beneficiaries of the estate; the existence of other documents which contradict the terms of the will; contests as to the person administering the estate; spousal rights; improprieties in the administration of the estate or any other of a seemingly endless number of issues which can arise.

The purpose of this blog is to provide information with respect to the many issues that can be raised in this interesting area of litigation. As the law changes and new cases or statutes are passed which deal with probate, I will comment on their significance.