There are a number of legal terms to deal with, one of those being estate litigation. To help you understand exactly what that is, we are going to look into the nitty-gritty details of it, and hopefully either prepare you if you ever find yourself involved with one or help if you are already involved in one.
What is an estate litigation?
To put it simply, an estate litigation is a type of litigation that has to do with disputes over the assets of a person who has passed away. And as anyone who has dealt with a dispute over a deceased person’s assets can tell you, it can get really messy, really fast. There is going to be a lot of claims made in the worst-case scenario of a dispute, and if there was no ample evidence provided to determine what was the case, it can make that process all the messier.
When an estate litigation occurs, it is, for the most part, going to have to do with a dispute over the contents (or even the validity) of a will. Disputes over the validity of a will can come in many shapes and sizes, and in turn, some can be more easily resolved than others. For example, a common type of will dispute comes in the form of claiming that the person who created the will was not of sound mind when they crafted it. This can be especially prickly if it is alleged that the person not being of sound mind also involved another party trying to influence the contents of the will. Of course, it does not even have to be that the person was taking advantage of a person in a vulnerable state but can even simply be one person putting undue influence on the other person, without that person being mentally deficient. Whether this will stand up in court, of course, is an entirely different matter, as it will be much harder to show a will to be invalid merely because someone influenced a person of sound mind to write it the way they did.
Of course, estate litigation covers more than just disputes over a will. It can also cover allegations that a person had attempted to influence the assets themselves before the person has actually passed. Such influence can take the form of trying to manipulate a person into moving money around to the benefit of the person accused of said bad behavior, or generally asking them to spend money on them, in order to guarantee that they get something out of the person, regardless of what the will actually provide for them.
What are the best ways to avoid disputes in an estate litigation?
Ultimately, the best way to avoid these kinds of disputes over your assets is to ensure that there is as little as possible to have a dispute over in the first place. For example, working with trusted Sacramento Estate Attorneys is going to be the best first step for you to take. In doing so, they can help you plan out your will and plan how and when your assets will be distributed. Not only can they help you draft these things, but they can do it well, ensuring that there are not going to be loopholes that family members will be able to exploit, in the event that they want to go against your wishes.
Of course, this advice only really works in the event that your assets are the ones that may be under dispute. If you yourself are involved in a dispute over someone else’s assets, that is a whole other ball game. In that event, you should work with a lawyer and enter into legal proceedings to ensure that your interests, as well as the stated interests of the person whose asset distribution is in dispute, are met. While it is never going to be the best thing to get involved in a legal dispute, the bright side of things is that these kinds of disputes usually resolve themselves through negotiation between lawyers. By having the negotiation be done between lawyers, this helps the situation to resolve with little emotion and frustration, relatively speaking. Unfortunately, this is not always going to be the case, and some disputes will go to court. In the event that you win this legal dispute, your legal fees are most likely to be covered, though until the win, you will have to manage the legal fees yourself.