The process of coping with the loss of a loved one and then dealing with their estate can be a long and stressful process. A probate court will step in to identify the assets and expenses of the deceased and assign the properties and responsibilities accordingly. Due to a wide range of reasons, family members can begin to quarrel when it comes to wills and the probate process. This conflict can worsen until probate litigation services are necessary. When you are in need of legal representation in estate law, it can pay to find a team of estate lawyers in Maryland such as JDKatz. Our estate planning attorneys have years of experience with the probate process, and we’ll be able to guide and represent you through each step in the process. From complex and simple wills to revocable living trusts, estates, and more, our attorneys are here and ready to help optimize the outcome for your situation.
Probate law is often complex and can be divisive, creating conflict between family members, business partners, and anyone who has a vested interest in the estate. Today, we’ll continue to look into what probate litigation is by discussing different risk factors that can create the need for legal intervention. When done, be sure to learn about our estate planning services by contacting us for assistance.
Litigation Risk Factors
Beyond the types of disputes we mentioned in the previous blog is the motivation and causes behind litigation. Different family dynamics can create a wide range of conflict amongst relatives, including:
The bonding legalities involved with marriage can make inheritances and estate planning quite tricky. Issues can arise when an individual remarries without a concise prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Children from any of the previous marriages can place a claim on their share of the inheritance, creating a contested estate that may have multiple parties involved in the legal proceedings. Assets such as life insurance policies can also create conflict between surviving family members.
The nature of sibling relationships can create a major strain in any family setting. While the closest match to you genetically, siblings can end up creating major challenges when it comes to the division and handling of a parent’s estate. Money is often the biggest cause for litigation, stemming from a perception that one sibling was not treated fairly. Oftentimes, emotions can be the driving force behind these legal actions, stemming from a unique background of complex family dynamics.
Our estate planning attorneys have seen it all in our time serving Maryland and Washington D.C. In some cases, the dispensing of assets may seem unfair considering that one sibling is making millions of dollars running a successful business while the other sibling is barely making ends meet as a janitor. Why should Person A receive the same share when Person B needs it more? Other families have dealt with probate litigation when an estranged sibling that left town long ago now returns seeking their share of the estate despite not lending a hand in the dealings of the family. Other cases have seen one sibling caring for their ailing parent, applying pressure and coercing them to make estate decisions under duress.
One dispute that often does not center around finances is the handling of a diseased parent’s personal property. The parent may not have made specific bequests or remarks in his or her will, leaving the division of personal property entirely in the hands of the children. These siblings may disagree on a wide range of items and plans, from how to store sentimental items to the division of photo albums and more. In any case, the intense emotional responses from each sibling can create a hostile setting that is unproductive and unenjoyable. Our estate law experts can help you present your case if you are dealing with a sibling problem.
The cause behind your probate litigation can vary widely, yet no matter the motivation, we recommend seeking out professional legal representation. Next time, our estate planning attorneys will conclude this subject by discussing a few more conflict motivators in addition to the time limitations of bringing a claim forward. If you are in need of estate law assistance in Bethesda, the JDKatz team is here to help. We’re proud to staff some of the most experienced estate lawyers in Maryland, providing comprehensive support through each stage of the legal process for your wills and estates. From complex estate planning to probate litigation and testator support, we do it all. Contact us today to see how we can help you.