Wills and Trusts Challenges and Other Probate Litigation
Litigation over wills, trusts, conservatorships, and related financial elder abuse claims can be difficult to understand and is extremely complex. Wills and trusts can be legally challenged in a number of ways, including for lack of testamentary capacity, or documents procured as a result of undue influence, fraud, duress or menace, or mistake of the testator. Challenges involving “disqualified” persons can also invalidate provisions in a will or trust. In addition, challenges against the personal representative, executor or successor trustee regarding performance of their duties may be brought to remove them as the personal representative, executor or trustee when they have failed to perform their fiduciary duty. The Probate Court also may have jurisdiction to determine community property claims if a party to a divorce dies during the dissolution of marriage proceedings.
Probate litigation is further complicated with certain time limitations by which to bring your actions (statute of limitations) and by terms of the estate planning documents themselves. No-contest clauses for example, can disinherit a beneficiary who undertakes any action that attempts to frustrate the estate plan or its administration.
WILL AND TRUST FAQ
What is a will?
A will is a formal legal document naming the people who will receive your assets after your death. A will also names who will manage your estate and its distribution and can nominate guardians for your minor children.