Probate litigation is sometimes necessary to protect the rights of beneficiaries or heirs, potentially due to an unclear or poorly drafted will or due to a dispute among family members. Probate law in California can be complicated and these matters may easily become hotly contested due to emotionally charged issues and legal complexities.
Disputes can occur even when a will and/or trust has been executed. Oftentimes family members, beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries disagree over whether or not a will is valid and how it should be interpreted. Issues with disinherited heirs, undue influence, duress, or the capacity of the decedent are common problems that can lead to a lawsuit. Family dynamics can turn sour if one person feels overlooked or that he or she received less than other family members. This is a common occurrence in blended families (step-children, current and ex-spouses, etc.) Disagreements are also common between beneficiaries of the will and the personal representative. Family members may disagree over who should act as the personal representative, or about financial decisions made by the personal representative. When the personal representative is also a beneficiary, then concerns over potential conflicts of interest can lead to litigation.
These are all emotionally and legally complex issues that are best addressed by a lawyer who is highly experienced in probate litigation and who will fight tirelessly to uphold or contest a will or handle any other type of dispute.