Probate and Trust Litigation

Some issues involving wills and trusts must be resolved by litigation.

  • Will contest, where the validity of a will is challenged.
  • Disagreements about the execution of the will, the capacity of the decedent to make a will
  • Disagreements about distribution to beneficiaries, disinherited heirs, or other provisions of the will.
  • Whether the trust was correctly executed
  • Interpretation of terms in the trust
  • Capacity of the individual executing the trust, whether or not there was any undue influence or fraud
  • Rights of beneficiaries or heirs not named in will
  • Issues concerning the trustee’s administration of the trust.

Beneficiaries and trustees might look for aid of the probate court to determine and resolve trust problems.

Other isses needing litigation are conservatorships, elder abuse (physical or financial) and unique needs trusts.

Probate and trust litigation can sometimes be handled by settlement, mediation, or other determination short of a trial.  If there is a trial, it is generally a judge trial with a Probate Court making the determination.

You should always consult with an experienced probate and trust attorney for drafting of estate planning documents, likes wills and trusts, and especially prior to starting such litigation. 

To avoid your will or trust from getting challenged after your death, you really should have your estate preparing documents drafted by an estate planning attorney familiar with challenges if documents are not properly drafted.

Some litigation can be avoided by documents that are correctly, carefully and appropriately prepared.

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