Friday, 24 May 2024

Everything You Should Know About Probate Litigation

Probate processes can be tedious to go through and if there’s a slight chance of injustice in it, then it can lead to a life-long feud. Luckily, there are legal processes to help the beneficiaries get their rights in the estate left by the owner. Most people start by contacting a probate lawyer PG County. Anyways, here is everything you need to know about probate litigation.

What Is Probate Litigation?

A probate litigation is a lawsuit of sorts, that is basically filed by the beneficiary or the heir against the executor or administrator. There can be multiple reasons as to why the beneficiaries or heirs may seem like the will was unjust and that they didn’t get their fair share as termed by the testator.

Basics Of Probate

If you’re new to the world of probate and how the terminologies work, then you might need some knowledge about the different kinds of people involved in probate litigation.

The Beneficiaries

These are the people who are going to get any assets left by the decedent or the previous owner after death. Beneficiaries are entitled to get assets whether it be property, money, heirlooms, etc. according to the will.

The Heirs

These people are also beneficiaries of sorts, but the difference between an heir and a beneficiary is that the heir is eligible to get assets in a probate process, if there’s no will present, whereas in the case of a beneficiary, a will is necessary.

The Testator

He/she is the person who wrote the will and is the owner of the assets. They decide who the beneficiaries and executors will be.

The Executor

These are the people responsible for carrying out the probate estate process, after the death of the testator, according to the will. They need to act on the will and on the terms given by the testator, otherwise it can turn into a lawsuit, aka, probate litigation.

The Administrator

An administrator, in the same way as an executor, is responsible for heading the probate process, but in this case, there is no will.

Why Is Probate Litigation Needed?

The whole gist of a probate process is to ensure that the legal heirs and beneficiaries get their due share of inheritance after the owner has died. In case there is no proper way of carrying out the terms of the will, there is a way for the beneficiaries to get their rightful inheritance through a lawsuit against the executor. This is where probate litigation comes in.

There can be a lot of reasons why the beneficiaries or executors file for probate litigation. They might want the court to reconsider the decision and rule on the actions of the executor or there may be some sort of injustice when the testator was writing the will and the beneficiaries need to prove these grounds in order to win this lawsuit.

Possible Grounds For Probate Litigation

Speaking of reasons, here are some grounds on which the beneficiaries can file for probate litigation.

The Will Is Incorrect

Sometimes, the terms of the will can be a dead giveaway that it’s incorrect and it doesn’t match what the testator said during his/her life. This can be a major ground on which a probate litigation can be filed. This will also involve the estate planning lawyer Bowie of the deceased.

Not Being Mentally Sound

If the will is incorrect, then there are only two ways it can go. Either there was some external influence or the mental capacity of the testator was questionable at the time of writing the will.

As far as mental capacity is concerned, there can be cases where older people tend to make wills while suffering from life-altering disorders like amnesia or dementia and that can really hinder the process of making the right decisions with a sound mind.

These people can also be quite vulnerable and can’t understand the nature of the will. Most of the time, they can also forget about pivotal relationships in their lives and this can be a huge obstacle in the way of beneficiaries getting their due share.

There’s External Influence

This is legally known as “undue influence”, and it basically implies that there are some people who have completely brainwashed and overrode the ability of the testator to make the will and have forced them to add other wishes in the will. This is also a huge giveaway of the testator dialogue being different in the will as compared to in-person conversations with people.

This is a huge allegation and the people responsible for taking away the primary decision-making choice from the testator will have to go through court hearings and that can turn into a full-blown lawsuit in itself.

How To File For Probate Litigation?

Now that you know what probate litigation is, and on what grounds you can file for one, here is the step-by-step process of how it can be approached.

  1. The best time to start a probate litigation is during the probate process, because the later you act on this, the weaker your case will be in court. You need to contact a litigation attorney as soon as possible and have a consultation with them as to what should be the next step.
  2. The next and most important thing you’ll need is proof. You need to prove to the court that the will is incorrect and that the dialog of the testator doesn’t match what they had said in their life. This is why you need to have a copy of the will and any proof/evidence of a conversation with the testator in their life, that implies that the terms in the will are incorrect and that they were under some sort of influence or incapacitation, to make the right decision for the beneficiaries.
  3. You also need to keep certain people in mind. Is there anyone who doesn’t want the beneficiaries to get their due shares? Did anyone have any sort of ill will or vice and they made a claim on assets of the testator? You need to have these details as well, to provide the court with enough evidence to pursue this litigation process.
  4. Having the deceased’s medical records is also a great way of proving mental inability and the power of influence made by other people. This is a rock-solid lead for the legal team to put the blame on someone who can benefit from this disadvantage of the testator.
  5. Once you get everything, a claim will be filed by the attorney and a court hearing will be held. You need to go over the claim with the lawyers a few times to ensure that you got all major issues and points covered.
  6. Lastly, you’ll get a letter of claim from the court that will allow negotiations between you and the executor, and that’s going to ensure that the probate case is in good hands and everyone will get their due shares.


Probate litigation is an easy way for the heirs and beneficiaries to legally get their rights if they feel like the decision wasn’t properly made by the executor or administrator, so it’s a good thing to know how this works in the legal realm and when you should hire a probate litigation lawyer Largo.

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