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Common Types of Probate Disputes

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2022 | PROBATE

Once a case is opened in probate, different types of disputes can arise that might even lead to litigation. If you are facing a possible conflict in Roseville, Sacramento, or nearby cities, do not wait to contact a probate attorney for assistance.

For many people, probate cases proceed without too many complications. However, some probate matters might be delayed due to complex and costly disputes. When a dispute leads to litigation before the Probate Court, you want to make sure you have the right Roseville probate attorney. These disputes can use up substantial resources and, perhaps more importantly, they can tear families apart. Always have the right legal representation so you can resolve any probate disputes as efficiently as possible.

The following are some examples of possible probate disputes that might lead to litigation. To discuss your case, contact our office directly.

The Validity of a Will

There are requirements for a last will and testament to be considered valid in California, and sometimes, people have concerns that a will is not valid. Some reasons why someone might challenge the validity of a will with probate litigation are below.

Mistakes in Execution

The law requires that a will is signed and witnessed in a specific manner, and this includes any amendments to a will. If the will does not pass the validity test, a judge might rule that one or more provisions – or the entire will – is invalid.

The Will was Revoked

In California, someone can revoke a will in two ways: by destroying or tearing the will or by drafting a new will that revokes the old one. If an older will is the one presented to the probate court, there might be a will contest claiming that the will was revoked, and a more recent will should be the one to be honored.

Mental Incapacity

A testator must have sufficient mental capacity when they sign a will for the document to be enforceable. If someone signed a will and did not understand the nature of the act, their property, or beneficiaries, the will might be challenged.

Undue Influence

An heir or beneficiary might believe that recent changes to the will or provisions in a new will were wrongfully influenced by someone who was trying to obtain more property and deprive other beneficiaries or heirs. Many probate disputes involve claims of undue influence.

Executor Disputes

Some disputes do not involve the will itself, but instead, the designated executor of the estate. If the executor breaches their fiduciary duty, someone might file a claim to have them replaced, as well as potentially hold them liable for any losses to beneficiaries. Some breaches of fiduciary duties include:

  • Failing to administer the estate as required
  • Acting in a self-serving manner
  • Showing bias to one or more beneficiaries over the others
  • Mismanaging estate assets

Having one executor removed and having the court appoint another can be a time-consuming – but sometimes necessary – process.

Learn How a Roseville Probate Attorney Can Help

If you believe that you might have a probate dispute or need legal assistance during the probate process for another reason, look no further than a Roseville probate lawyer from The Sterling Law Group. Call (916) 790-0852 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and discuss how we might assist in your situation.