DC Estate Litigation Lawyer

Navigating the estate litigation process can be challenging and complex. A DC estate litigation lawyer understands the emotional toll of estate and probate litigation and could work tirelessly to achieve a favorable resolution for your case. If you are currently involved in a probate dispute, call a dedicated trust and estates attorney today to learn more about your available legal options.

Overview of Wills

A will is a legally enforceable document which outlines the heirs of an estate and determines when they may collect their inheritance. Upon a person’s death, their estate will go directly into probate to execute the terms of the will. In the event someone dies and fails to make a will beforehand, their estate would be dispersed based on the applicable intestacy laws. A person who has died before creating a will is referred to as dying intestate.

Under such circumstances, the decedent’s assets would be dispersed to any surviving spouse and children. When someone dies without a will and does not have a surviving spouse or children, the individual’s surviving parents and siblings may be awarded the assets of the decedent’s estate. If no parents or siblings survive the decedent, the court may continue to look for surviving heirs according to the intestacy laws.

Sometimes, a will may be deemed invalid by the court. The validity of a will may be questioned for a number of reasons. For example, if the will was not executed pursuant to DC law or if the deceased did not have sufficient mental capabilities to comprehend and execute the will, it could be held as invalid.

Probate and Estate Litigation

Probate is the legal process which disperses a person’s assets to their beneficiaries after their death. Creditor disputes, claims made by surviving family of the decedent, outstanding debts to be settled, and estate taxes may all affect asset distribution and are issues commonly involved in DC litigation. Other legal issues which may be at play in estate litigation include:

  • Will validity
  • Disputes regarding the rights of the surviving spouse
  • Trust disputes
  • Disputes regarding the mental capacity of the decedent when the will was created
  • Forgery allegations

It is important to understand that the disbursement of the decedent’s assets only occurs after other taxes and claims are satisfied. Additionally, estate disputes can cause significant delays in the probate process. It could be essential to retain a legal representative in the area who has extensive knowledge of the applicable laws and procedural rules governing probate and estate litigation. They could handle these complicated matters with compassion while working toward an efficient outcome.

Reason for Will Disputes

An estate may be challenged for several reasons. The interested party may assert that the will maker did not have sufficient mental cognizance when the will was drawn up, or that the testator was inordinately influenced when making the will.

Other reasons an estate may be challenged include wrongdoing, fraud, or bad faith on the part of the trustee or personal estate representative. It may be possible to challenge a trust or will by citing incompliance with legal requirements. A nearby estate litigation attorney could carefully review an interested party’s claim to determine whether it is valid to pursue legal action accordingly.

A DC Estate Litigation Attorney Could Help

If you need help contesting a trust, will, or other estate document, or if a will contest has been filed by someone else and you require qualified representation, a DC estate litigation lawyer may be able to assist. An attorney with significant understanding of estate law could protect your interests throughout the probate and litigation process and help you determine what legal recourse may be possible. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation.