Orange County Probate Litigation Lawyer
Experienced Advocates on Your Side
Probate litigation involves conflicts between parties over the administration
of a decedent's estate where the decedent has left a
will. The conflicts may involve the validity of the will or its interpretation.
They may also concern how the estate the administered. For example, if
a will makes a number of cash bequests but an estate consists mostly of
valuable property and possessions, these tangible possessions may need
to be appraised and sold in order to produce cash. As another example,
property may need to be sold in order to address and pay outstanding debts.
Common questions that may act as the spark in probate litigation may include:
Should the house be sold to pay bills? Are the assets of the estate being
properly protected by the executor? Parties who voice these concerns or
debates may include the executor of the estate, heirs or creditors of
the decedent. It is likely that other parties involved will be represented
by a probate attorney and if you are not, you may be at a severe disadvantage.
Working with an experienced Orange County probate attorney can allow you
to protect yourself, your rights and your interests in the event that
probate litigation arises.
Reasons to Contest a Will
Probate litigation often concerns contests over the validity of the will,
or its general intent. Typically, a family member, friend, or business
partner of the decedent may call for the
will contest, feeling shorted or forgotten. However, anyone with a reasonable claim
to a portion of the estate may request a contest.
Common reasons someone may contest a will include:
Forgery: If there is suspicion that the will was created falsely – such as
the decedent never mentioning a will before passing – it may be
contested. Forgery may also include a false signature on a genuine will
that was not meant to be finalized.
Undue influence: Someone who intentionally applies stress or harm to a testator in order
to get the will created in a certain way is using undue influence. Proving
that someone has used undue influence and not just given counsel to the
testator can be difficult without the help of a probate litigation attorney.
Lack of mental faculties: Also called a lack of testamentary capacity, a lack of mental faculties
due to old age or illness could make the creation of a legally sound will
impossible. The idea is that if someone is dividing an estate, they should
know exactly what they are doing.
Unclear intention: One of the most common reasons to contest a will, unclear intentions or
undefined assets may bring rise to all sorts of complications. It is best
to retain the help of an
estate planning attorney when creating a will to ensure your wishes make sense on paper.
Proven Orange County Probate Litigation Attorneys on Your Side
P. Arnsen Blakely provides vigorous advocacy during probate litigation.
Since 1971, our attorney has energetically represented executors, heirs
and creditors throughout Orange County, California. He demonstrates the
ability to defend the rights of our clients and deliver personalized service
and cost-effective results. You are invited to
contact our firm to discuss your probate litigation matter.