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Family ties, tangled finances: Resolving contested estates

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Estate Litigation

Inheriting a loved one’s estate should be a time of remembrance, not resentment. Unfortunately, disagreements over assets and the interpretation of wills can arise, turning the probate process into a complex family dispute. If you’re facing a contested estate in Roseville, here are some solutions to navigate these challenging situations effectively.

Understanding the source of conflict

Contested estates often stem from:

  • Unclear will language: Ambiguous wording in the will can lead to confusion and disagreements about the testator’s (deceased’s) wishes.
  • Undisclosed assets: The existence of unknown assets can disrupt the original distribution plan.
  • Family tensions: Pre-existing family conflict can resurface during the probate process.

When families are unsure or have different opinions about what their loved one wanted, it can cause division and challenges for everyone.

Finding common ground

While emotions might run high, remember that the goal is to reach a resolution that honors your loved one’s wishes and minimizes family discord. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Open communication: Maintain open and honest communication with all beneficiaries. Focus on understanding each other’s perspectives and concerns.
  • Mediation: Consider mediation, a facilitated discussion led by a neutral third party. Mediation can help identify common ground and explore creative solutions.

It may take time, but with professional support, you can find a resolution that honors your deceased loved one.

Seeking professional guidance

In some cases, legal intervention might be necessary. An experienced Roseville probate attorney can:

  • Interpret the will: A lawyer can clarify the will’s language and ensure the testator’s wishes are followed according to California probate laws.
  • Negotiate on your behalf: An attorney can represent your interests and negotiate a fair settlement with other beneficiaries.
  • Advocate for your rights: If litigation becomes necessary, your lawyer will protect your rights throughout the Roseville probate process.

Contested estates can be emotionally draining, but there are solutions. By prioritizing communication, exploring alternative dispute resolution methods and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can navigate this challenging situation and reach a resolution that respects your loved one’s legacy and fosters family harmony.