Probate litigation generally stems from a beneficiary contesting a Will. Wills can be contested when there is undue influence, fraud, mistake, duress, and for several other reasons. A Will contest can also be prompted by the following situations:
- An illegitimate child who asserts a claim on an estate.
- A spouse who wants a larger share.
- A claim to an asset not currently in the estate.
- Or, the filing of a claim of wrongful death on behalf of the estate.
The personal representative is always listed as the party representing the estate.
The major downfall to probate litigation is the possibility that litigation against the estate can bankrupt the estate leaving nothing to litigate over in the end. For that reason, it is always best to settle probate issues outside of the courts for all parties involved.
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