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Estate Litigation and How Legal Representation Can Help You

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Estate & Trust Litigation, Wills |

The loss of a loved one stirs various emotions and can be taxing on the family relationships of surviving relatives. Whether disputes arise with a sibling, cousin, or other family members, the process to resolve legal issues is exhausting and stressful. Legal representation designed to support your best interests can be a valuable resource for your protection and peace of mind. A lawyer experienced in estate litigation can help you navigate what can become a complex legal challenge. 


will details your loved one’s wishes to distribute their property and assets upon their death. The distribution of family heirlooms, for example, is commonly found in a will. 

When a loved one dies, an executor of the estate —usually predetermined by the decedent — files notice of the death with the appropriate court. The process of probating the will begins and can take up to one year to complete. However, having a will does not ensure the smooth closure of an estate. While you may expect legal challenges from a certain relative, some challenges can catch you unprepared and off-guard. In the case of a contested will, family members often find themselves in disagreements that may stem from: 

  • Sibling rivalries
  • A decedent’s second marriage
  • Legal issues with the will itself

The grief following a loved one’s death is a challenging time for any individual. For those who wish to ensure the smooth execution of a will, a lawyer specializing in wills and estates may be a worthwhile resource to have on hand. 


trust is a legal document that allows the beneficiary to use their estate during their lifetime. A trustee who represents the beneficiary manages property titles and assets. Most trusts fall within these main categories:

  • Living or testamentary
  • Funded or unfunded
  • Revocable or irrevocable

Each category involves broad implications that can affect inheritance. It is also possible for someone to have both a will and a trust, further complicating the legal process for the estate’s executor and living relatives.

How a Lawyer Can Help You With Estate Litigation

A loved one’s wishes can result in a court battle when contested by other family members or interested parties. Protecting your best interests is where strong representation can help you. Legal documents with clauses and stipulations can be daunting to someone outside of the legal profession, so having a trusted third party listen to your concerns and explain the process to you can be invaluable. 

How you proceed with estate litigation can greatly impact your financial future. A strong defense against those who wish to disrupt your loved one’s final wishes is often necessary for preserving what is rightful —and legally yours. 

When to Seek Advice

If a will involves extensive assets, such as multiple properties or businesses, legal challenges are exceedingly complex. Moreover, state laws govern the time in which family members may take legal action in the case of a contested will. Reviewing wills and trusts and researching documents is an essential step of preparation. In such cases, contacting a legal professional early on will ensure sufficient time to gather information and prepare any documents needed to protect a beneficiary’s rights. 

The unfortunate reality of family discord in the estate process is all too common. By utilizing third-party resources, like an estate lawyer, family members can reduce the emotional burden surrounding the execution of a will or trust with a legal professional capable of settling matters of every degree of complexity according to all state and federal laws. 

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