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 is the founding member of Klenk Law, a seven attorney boutique estate planning law firm. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and Florida. Peter Klenk received his Masters in Taxation LL.M. from NYU Law School and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He served his country in the Navy JAGC during Desert Storm. Easy to talk to, feel free to call Peter for an appointment. We will make the process as easy as possible!
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