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.
Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.
Peter is a model attorney who puts his clients first at all costs. His extensive expertise in estate planning and tax planning was a great comfort as we began, and have expanded, our family. He is very thoughtful, generous, and quick witted. His approach towards his business has been an inspiration to his peer group, and his zest for life is extremely infectious. Without reservation, I highly recommend Peter as trusted and cherished counsel
Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.
Peter has done our family's trust and estate work since our children were born. He is not only extremely knowledgeable and honest, but makes sure that our arrangements remain current with the changing legal landscape. I would give him my highest recommendation as a professional in his field.
Klenk Law is an exceptional practice. Their fine lawyers and staff team up to produce excellent results for their clients. They excel at explaining the often cryptic laws and policies that govern estate planning right down to the complexities of the various "trust" frameworks. Peter himself manages each client together with his great team, and he has a rare quality to be both a walking encyclopedia of planning minutia and also one of the most likable lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He is truly generous in intellect and in his personal approach to getting the "big picture" for complex family structures. I trust him implicitly to help me make the right choices for the future. In short, Klenk Law is a gem of a firm.