Probate Litigation

Did you know that when it comes to estate administration, any type of dispute or conflict that is legally allowed by Indiana probate courts can slow down the administration of an estate? When a person passes away in Indiana, their belongings must go on to the right beneficiaries or heirs after all creditors have been taken into account. While some cases can move through a streamlined procedure for probate, others require more complex legal case concerns such as when a dispute emerges. The rules related to the Indiana administration process are memorialized in the Indiana Probate Code- IN Code § 29-1-1-2 et seq.

Every party to an estate will have general questions about how this process impacts the administration of the deceased’s estate as well as how this influences their personal stakes as it comes to assets. Major changes in a will that are ultimately determined to be tied to undue influence, for example, can mean that a previous will is considered valid. This is true even if the previous will wrote you out of it. Courts look at multiple factors when evaluating any disputes that come up during probate.

What Is Probate?

Probate refers to the formal court or judicial mechanism that comes up when a person has a will, doesn’t have a will, or has a trust but has not funded assets inside that trust. State law will determine in those cases in which no will exists how the assets will be distributed. Family members, heirs and beneficiaries could all be entitled to receive part of the estate. In the best case scenarios these details are clear, making it easy to understand the wishes of the decedent and allowing the process to move forward smoothly. In other cases, however, as an Indiana probate litigation lawyer can tell you, disputes can lead to litigation. There are specific rules and deadlines related to litigation. Retaining experienced representation helps executors, beneficiaries, heirs, individuals and trustees move through the complex process of litigation.

Defining Probate Litigation

Probate litigation refers to a number of different types of cases associated with disputing a trust, seeking redress for breach of fiduciary duty, contesting a will, quieting property title, addressing undue influence or capacity issues, handling tortious interference with expected inheritance claims or securing property that was wrongfully taken. This is the process through which individuals, such as beneficiaries look to address an alleged wrong regarding someone’s will or trust.

Hiring a Probate Litigation Attorney In Indiana

Anytime there are questions about what a loved one is doing or has done with tehri estate, or in cases in which you have been appointed as a trustee or executor and questions are being asked about the administration of the estate, you can benefit from experienced representation. Issues that they can help address include:

  • Claims of mental incapacity in which a beneficiary argues that the decedent did not have the appropriate Breach of fiduciary duty which include claims that someone who has been appointed to serve in the role of personal representative has failed to fulfill the requirements of their trust or will.
  • Claims of undue influence in which one person wrongfully exerts or coerces another individual to update their will.
  • Contesting a will, particularly when an estate plan has been updated under suspicious circumstances.

These cases can be very complex and can raise considerable emotional issues for the family members involved. The support of an experienced probate litigation attorney serving Indiana can be instrumental in helping clarify the grounds under which probate litigation can be started and empowering the various stakeholders to understand their rights as well as their responsibilities. No one should have to go through this process on their own and the support of legal counsel can help to clear up many common misconceptions as well as questions.

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