Why Probate Disputes Happen
The main reason why someone might contest a will or probate is typically based on fraud, forgery, overreaching, or incompetence. If there’s no will, the surviving member’s rights depend on the family situation.
For example, if a surviving spouse has no children, the spouse gets 100%. If there’s no spouse, but there are children, then the children divide the assets equally. If there is a spouse and children, the spouse gets 50%, and the children split 50%. Additionally, a special provision exists for a surviving spouse’s award of $20,000 off the top of the estate before the division of the assets.
How To Dispute A Trust Or Will
If you need to dispute a trust or will, you need to contact an attorney and discuss your reasoning or supposition as to why you believe something wasn’t right with the will or trust. Then, the attorney needs to review the documents and advise on whether those are sufficient grounds to contest.
You should contest a will or trust if you believe there’s some irregularity of the will or trust, whether based on the signature, competence, overreaching, or undue influence. If you think there are irregularities and have some grounds you can legally state, then we will analyze and decide whether to go forward.
It’s important to keep in mind that a trust is not a probate document, so a contested trust would go before a chancery court while contested wills and other probate matters would go before a probate court.
Alternatively, you may choose to work with a mediator to resolve the issue outside of the courtroom. In Illinois, the Chief Judge of the Probate Court handles mediations. The judge is extremely helpful in bringing reluctant parties to understand the situation in a realistic setting, so you won’t have to leave the outcome of your case up to the discretion of the court.
If you do go to court and you are successful, you can have an executor or an administrator removed, or depending on the circumstances, you could see consequential damages. For example, if fraud was involved, that person can be excluded as a beneficiary under the will.
I Guide Individuals And Families Through The Probate Process
I represent whoever retains me in a contested probate case. Whether the administrator or executor, one of the heirs seeking to contest the claim, the proposed administrator’s appointment, the estate’s opening, or the will itself, I can represent them.
I have 48 years of experience and am ready to use all of that to your advantage. Not only do I have big firm experience available at small firm prices, I have a lot of compassion and understanding and am willing to listen when many lawyers aren’t.
For more information on The Most Common Reasons Probate Disputes Arise And How They Affect The Probate Process, an initial consultation is your next step. Get the information and legal answers you seek today by calling (312) 900-9818.