If you need legal representation in cases that involve contested wills or trusts, you need to hire a probate litigation attorney.
In some cases, the family members, personal representative, heirs, or beneficiaries of a deceased person have concerns about the assets of their deceased loved one. These concerns typically originate from circumstances involving creating the will or trust or the probate process itself. If this is the case, they'll need to legally raise these concerns to the probate court.
On top of that, estate management and distribution are already emotionally charged scenarios requiring legal expertise and strategic thinking.
The representation of a probate attorney can guard your rights and interests. If you need more information about probate litigation, our attorney can give you proper guidance through these complex situations.
Managing and distributing the estate of a deceased person can cause legal disputes between the executors, heirs, or beneficiaries. The disagreement can even be a result of determining who will be in charge of the estate in the first place.
These legal disputes can stem from various claims, including:
• Misappropriation of funds
• Undue influence
• Lack of transparency
• And more
While time-consuming, finding the right probate litigation attorney to represent you is a necessary process.
One tried-and-tested way to find a trusted legal professional is to get a personal recommendation. Whether it’s from a family member, a neighbor, a friend, or a coworker, ask someone you know and trust if they know any excellent probate attorneys or if they have worked with one and have gotten a positive experience from it.
If you don’t get references from anyone, the next best thing is to go online. YA professional and reliable law firm will have a website that shows everything you need to know about them.
Read through a probate litigation attorney’s profiles, credentials, and client feedback.
You can also consult other legal online resources such as bar association websites or online lawyer directories such as FindLaw, Lawyers.com, Justia, or Superlawyers.com.
Compile an initial list of potential attorneys who may be a good fit for your case. After you have created your list, you can narrow the names down with the help of the following information:
• Geographical and biological information
• Client reviews
• Affiliations and memberships in relevant local, state, or national associations
• The payment and your budget
• Your personal needs and preferences
Once you have three or four attorneys on your list, get in touch with them to schedule an initial in-person discussion. Some attorneys will offer free consultation, others come with a fee. Make sure you have the information about the case ready so you can answer any questions they may have. Prepare some questions for the attorney that you would like answered.
However, keep in mind that they may only give you a general overview of the legal advice you need until you agree to hire their legal services.
Trust your gut instinct and use your common sense during these initial consultations with attorneys. You should also pay attention to how their in-house staff treats you. After all, you want to work with someone you can give your complete confidence and trust to when dealing with probate court processes.
Probate attorneys are essential to proper estate settlement and estate planning. If you are facing a probate case, you are in no way obligated to hire whoever drew up your deceased loved one’s will.
You must select a legal professional who is knowledgeable and licensed to practice probate law in your state, has extensive experience in the probate process, and who you can afford.
A lot of people hire an attorney who doesn’t specialize in probate and estate planning. Avoid this mistake at all costs.
When picking a probate attorney, know your specific situation and needs. Some probate attorneys are experts in handling large sums of funds and real estate, and others are skilled in administering mid-sized or smaller estates.
Hire a probate attorney for your specific type of circumstance.
On top of that, find a legal professional who is compassionate, sympathetic, and reliable. Dealing with the probate process means you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one. You need a probate attorney on your side who you feel comfortable working with.
A probate lawyer or probate attorney’s primary responsibility is to work with the executor and heirs/beneficiaries of a decedent’s estate. Their daily responsibilities rely on the probate law of their jurisdiction.
There are two types of probate lawyers: probate litigation attorneys and transactional probate attorneys. Some probate lawyers do both. However, many of them only focus on one specialty.
Probate litigation attorneys represent individuals facing probate lawsuits. They are the ones experienced in probate disputes. If you have concerns with the way the estate is managed, if you want to challenge the will, if you are the executor and someone is contesting your decisions, or if you are anticipating any other legal disputes over the estate, you need the services of a probate litigation attorney.
You want to hire an attorney who has extensive experience in handling probate matters. On top of that, they also need to be knowledgeable in other vital areas of the law. This way, you’ll know if the actions taken concerning your case might be affected by any other relevant areas of the law.
On the other hand, if your loved one or family member has recently passed and you only need to start the probate process, then you may only need the services of a transactional probate attorney.
This legal professional can guide you through the administrative aspect of the probate process.
Here are the general responsibilities of a probate attorney:
• Settling any legal disputes between the executors and beneficiaries
• Putting the estate property for sale if needed
• Distribution of the deceased party’s estate among the heirs/beneficiaries
Ideally, you should hire a law firm experienced in both probate litigation and the transactional probate process.
However, a probate lawyer is different from an estate planning attorney. The latter deals with helping individuals craft their last will and testament, estate plans, trusts, etc.
A probate litigation attorney represents clients facing legal disputes over a deceased loved one’s trust or will. They are trial lawyers familiar experienced in handling estate planning issues and trust and will contests.
Whether it’s contesting or defending an issue, perhaps even a suspicion of probate fraud, a probate litigation attorney can give you legal advice to resolve will, trust, and estate disputes.
The following scenarios call for the services of a probate litigation attorney:
• Challenging a will – if you believe that a will or trust was altered under suspicious circumstances or if there are any errors in the document that need to be addressed, you can legally contest or dispute it in county probate court.
• Breach of fiduciary duties
• Undue influence
• Mental incapacity
Losing a loved one is one of the biggest challenges anyone can face. Whether it’s sudden or even if you had time to prepare, dealing with the aftermath of the death of your loved one can be highly devastating or emotional.
In some circumstances, legal difficulties may arise, especially when it comes to managing and distributing the deceased person’s assets. That’s where the expertise of a probate litigation attorney comes in.
If you need legal representation from an expert probate litigation attorney, we’re here to help. At Doug Newborn Law Firm, our professional legal team can help guide you through these situations.
We represent executors, administrators, heirs, beneficiaries, trustees, and other interested parties in cases involving the following:
• Wills or trusts disputes or inheritance disputes
• Undue influence
• Breach of fiduciary duty claims
• Fraud and fiduciary misconducts
• Financial elder abuse
• Investment mismanagement
You may reach us via phone or our online form to schedule an initial consultation.