Probate Litigation takes place when an interested party makes a claim or raises a dispute during the Probate process. Our firm is one of the very few who focus on being Probate Litigation Lawyers. It’s What We Do!
Probate Litigation is when there is a dispute during the probate process.
First, let me explain the Probate Process. Probate is the process whereby the State recognizes a person to manage the deceased’s estate. Wills name Executors or Personal Representatives. Otherwise, if there is no Will, the State selects an Administrator.
Probate begins when the Executor submits to the Register or Surrogate the Will and death certificate. When no Will exists, Probate begins when an interested party Petitions the Register or Surrogate. Initially, the government official examines the death certificate to verify the person is dead. She then verifies the Will’s authenticity. Or, if there is no Will, she verifies that the petitioner is a qualified Administrator. Then, if all is in order, the Executor or Administrator pays a fee and receives documentation proving that she officially represents the estate. For more information, read more at my article about the Probate Process
Probate Litigation takes place when an interested party believes that a wrong was done at some point in this process. They retain an Estate Litigation Attorney and file the appropriate petition.
Probate Litigation takes place during this process if:
Will Contest: An interested person wishes to challenge the entire Will’s validity. Go to Will Contests to learn more.
Administrator Appointments: If there is no Will and the family cannot agree on who should serve as Administrator.Disputes over who serves as Administrator result in a contested hearing. Having an experienced Probate Litigation Attorney is vital. The decision maker only allows a short time for evidence and testimony. Improper procedures and evidentiary failures may result in the wrong person may gain control over the estate.
Executor Fee Disputes: When an interested person believes the personal representative has overcharged the estate. Go to Executor Fees Disputes. An experienced Probate Litigation Attorney can follow the procedures and evidentiary rules to provide the judge with the evidence and testimony to allow the judge to demand fees returned.
Formal Accountings: When an interested person believes the Executor is not providing adequate information. Go to Formal Accountings.
Spousal Elective Share: When a surviving spouse exercises the right to claim a portion of the estate.
See Elective Share of Spouse
Guardianship Disputes: Though not technically a Probate Litigation matter, Guardianships are often thought of as probate matters as the same court hears them as many other Probate Litigation matters. See Guardianship Disputes.
Trustee Removals: If a Will forms a Trust, a dispute over the Trustee’s appointment is Probate Litigation. See Trustee Removal.
If you have any questions about Probate Litigation or any other estate law topics, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. For more than two decades Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate law and Probate clearly and concisely. If you are involved in Probate Litigation, our experienced Probate Litigation Attorneys will make it easy for you to understand and provide top notch representation so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!
AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!
I was referred to Peter after my divorce to put documents together to protect my assets. He suggested a number of documents that would help protect my children and their future. Also, he put together wills, power of attorney and living wills. I initially spoke with him on the phone, he took 30-40 minutes to understand my situation and explain the benefits of having such documents. After a week or two, I met with him in his office and signed the documents. Everything else was remote phone calls and emails. He re-explained these documents and what whom to share. I am in good hands.
Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!
I met Peter soon after he started his practice in Philadelphia, PA. He and his team have always been there for me and my various inquiries throughout my life-changing events, corporate relocations. I have lived in various cities throughout the nation, I have never had a problem in contacting Peter or a member of his team. He and his office responds quickly and returns calls to me to fulfill my requests for information or to revise my estate needs while posing relevant thought-provoking questions that I need to consider to secure my future. One of Peter's best qualities is his ability to answer clients complicated questions in a simple way to ensure comprehension.