Creating an estate plan is a smart step for adults to take. However, even the best-laid plans can result in issues.
Estate litigation is extremely common, and there are several reasons this occurs.
If someone remarries after they divorce their spouse, it can change their estate plan. Even in good situations, issues can arise after they pass. One example is if the old spouse was not removed as a beneficiary or heir. If this happens, then the new spouse may contest the estate plan and require estate litigation to settle the claim.
2. Undue influence
Another reason someone may want to contest a loved one’s will or estate plan is if they believe undue influence played a role in its creation. It is necessary for the person who believes undue influence had a role in the estate plan to prove it. Estate litigation related to undue influence can be long and expensive, so it is best to ensure you have a case before pursuing this.
3. Creditor disputes
Estate litigation may also arise if creditors make a claim on the estate. If someone passes away and still has debts, their creditors can make a claim to receive payment. When this happens, it can result in serious issues for the person’s beneficiaries.
4. Lack of validity
State laws must be followed to ensure an estate plan is valid. A formality failure can occur if the plan doesn’t meet these laws. If this happens, the person’s estate plan may be caught in litigation for several months or longer.
Regardless of what side of the situation you’re on, knowing your legal rights and understanding the intricacies of estate litigation will help you take the right steps in this situation.