It is difficult to lose someone you love, but to have to argue over who gets what assets can make the burden even more difficult to bear. If your loved planned ahead and created an estate plan, then you (hopefully) do not have to worry about long and drawn out probate litigation; if your loved one planned well enough, there is nothing to fight over because it all has its place. If for some reason your loved one did not plan ahead, then you should not go into the process unaware. Below are a few things that you can expect during probate litigation.
– Once the process is started—either by you or by an executor—you can expect to send in and file paperwork. This includes everything from filing forms and fees to appraisals of your loved one’s property.
– Creditors also have the opportunity to file cases against the individual. Those involved in the process must wait after the loved one’s death before proceeding with the disbursement of assets.
– A representative addresses all claims on the estate and awards or denies them as is appropriate. These claims are taken by priority level, so depending on the level of your claim you may expect to wait for a longer period of time.
– If there are people who disagree with the decision made by the representative, a hearing may be required to further determine whether the distribution was fair. After the filing of closing paperwork, a Judge signs the Order and the final assets are distributed.
These were simply steps that are followed during probate litigation, and while it is important to understand the process it is also important to understand the emotional impact that probate litigation may have on your family. Fighting over what someone had instead of celebrating the individual’s life can be hard to handle, so it is often wise to get through probate litigation as quickly as possible. In order to make this process as speedy as possible, you may want to consider hiring a professional to guide you through the process. If you have questions about probate litigation or would like our assistance, please contact our offices for a free consultation.