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.

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Orange County Estate Planning Attorney

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P. Arnsen Blakely
Orange County Estate Planning Attorney
1111 Bayside Drive, Suite 228,
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Local Phone: 949.220.2492
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.