Property that’s not part of an executed estate plan is typically transferred through a probate proceeding in the court system. The administration of your estate is considered “probate” and requires the identification and gathering of assets, notification and payment to creditors, filing of tax returns, liquidating property, retitling property, and distributing assets to your beneficiaries.
Can a Will or Trust be Disputed?
As difficult as losing a loved one is, the emotions of administering a will or a trust can lead to horrible disputes among family members. This amplifies the stress, grief, and sense of confusion throughout the entire process.
A will may be contested by a disgruntled family member, heir or other “interested person” that alleges invalidity, impartial influence, or fraud. Even if the will contains a no-contest clause, an individual may still contest the will, leading to months or years of legal and emotional strife.
Litigation involving trusts may also arise for a variety of reasons, including beneficiary disputes, trust validity, commingling of funds, imprudent investments, fraud, and more.
If there is no estate plan or non-probate transfer techniques in place, the probate proceedings and disputes can be extremely complicated, time-consuming, costly, and even more divisive and heartbreaking.
Steps to Administering an Estate
- The identification and gathering of assets, including tangible and intangible assets, like homes, heirlooms, business assets, stocks, and investments.
- Notification and payment to creditors, including all credit cards, loans, mortgages, autos, and business expenses.
- Filing of tax returns.
- Liquidating and/or retitling property.
- Settling personal and business affairs.
- Distributing assets to the beneficiaries in the manner with which the will and/or trust proclaims.
- If a will or trust is contested and the decedent’s estate goes to court, you will need a probate attorney to get the estate legally settled as quickly as possible.
Don’t try to handle administering your loved one’s will or trust on your own or let a contested estate issue take over your life and add to your emotional struggle. Bolinger Law Firm is here to help you efficiently sort through the legalities and relieve the tension of estate arguments by keeping each step of the process straightforward.
If you’re in the terribly unfortunate situation of having had a loved one recently die and need legal assistance with probate, contact us today. We offer a free consultation and can help get you on the right path. We are here for you and can be your trusted voice now and with your own estate plan in the future. 636-386-8322