4 Things a Probate Litigation Attorney Can Do for You

Probate is a court-supervised process carried out to validate a will. Probate litigation can occur if a will is contested or the beneficiaries feel that the executor is not fulfilling their fiduciary duty. Some other common reasons for probate litigation include executor fee disputes, guardianship disputes, and elective share disputes.

Whether you are an executor or a beneficiary to a will, a probate litigation lawyer in Sonoma County can help you navigate probate disputes.

Here are some things a probate litigation lawyer can do for you.

Identify Issues with a Will or Probate Case

The average person will find probate laws and the laws surrounding estate planning difficult to understand. Without proper knowledge of the applicable laws, it is easy to miss details and misinterpret will language or actions taken during the probate process.

A probate litigation attorney possesses an in-depth knowledge of probate laws and can help you understand the nature of your probate case, identify problems that can jeopardize your chances of securing a favorable settlement, and address them.

Contest a Will and Defend Against a Will Contest

Probate litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient. If you are a beneficiary to a will and have a will-related dispute with other beneficiaries, your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement to keep disputes out of court. However, if the parties fail to reach an agreement, your lawyer can contest the will in court.

If a beneficiary files a lawsuit against you, your lawyer will help you analyze the facts of the case and represent you in court.

Remove Executors When Necessary

Suppose the beneficiary to a will has reasons to believe that the executor is using estate assets for personal gains or is stealing from the estate. In that case, they can request their attorney to write a letter to the executor asking them to render an account of estate administration. If the beneficiary is not satisfied by the executor’s explanation, their attorney can move court seeking the person’s removal.

A judge won’t remove an executor unless the person seeking their removal has undeniable evidence of their wrongdoing. If you suspect an executor of the will (in which you are named a beneficiary) of misconduct, a probate litigation attorney can prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in court with the help of evidence.

Navigate the Court System

Filing a probate lawsuit and contesting one can be challenging. It involves completing a huge amount of paperwork, talking to judges and court clerks, and complying with any estate administration requirements and court orders. A probate litigation attorney understands the court system and can help you with paperwork and complete other formalities.

At Johnston & Associates, we have our clients’ best interests at heart. Our attorneys have years of experience leading negotiations and representing clients in court. To make an appointment, call (707) 545-6542.