Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the distribution of the deceased’s assets, while minimizing taxes and family disputes. So, how does a thought-out plan still end up in court? Litigation over an estate can take many different forms:

Will contests

A Last Will and Testament is the legal document which names the person that the deceased wants to manage his/her estate. It also provides for who will inherit the property and assets of the deceased. A will contest is a legal action challenging the validity of a purported will. Some of the most common types of will contests are allegations of forgery, lack of mental capacity or undue influence.

Beneficiary designations

A beneficiary is a person named in a will that is entitled to receive estate assets. This includes real property, personal property or proceeds from various types of accounts. Disputes can arise regarding the appointment of a beneficiary. Again, allegations of forgery, fraud, undue influence or lack of mental capacity resulting in the beneficiary being named are common.

Fiduciary disputes

A fiduciary, such as an executor or administrator of an estate, is given the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect the deceased’s estate. A dispute can arise if an individual with fiduciary obligations fails to uphold his/her duty to act in the best interests of the estate and the named beneficiaries and heirs. A common allegation for breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the executor or administrator perpetuates fraud or acts with selfish interests. We are unique because we are trust and estate litigators. We know how to prepare for and effectively try cases in probate court. We can help with all estate litigation matters, and are ready to walk with you every step of the way. To schedule an appointment, call us at (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers, we are dedicated to your peace of mind.