What is Probate Litigation in Tennessee? What kind of estate disputes arise?
Ideally, every person will design an iron-clad estate plan before they die so that there is no question about who will inherit those assets. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and plenty of people die without so much as a will. Others create estate plans that leave room for interpretation, or they create plans while under mental or emotional duress, putting the entire plan in question. When these things happen, the matter can turn to the courts for probate litigation.
I’m Judy A. Oxford Attorney at Law, an experienced Franklin probate litigation attorney, and I help clients resolve their inheritance disputes. I represent clients who are disputing a will (or defending a dispute), who are fighting a breach of fiduciary duty, and who are facing other estate disputes. I work hard to ensure that the integrity of the estate plan is verified so that the wishes of the deceased can be honored, preserving that person’s legacy and your future.
The need for probate litigation can arise from a number of estate disputes. Some of the most common disputes include:
- Will disputes. Issues can arise because people disagree about who is entitled to what in the will, or they can fight about whether the will is valid at all. The will might be called into question because of the person’s mental status or because of the way the will was put together. Disputes can also arise when people remarry, have additional children or experience some other life change and do not update their will.
- Valuation disputes. Some wills do not include specific dollar amounts, but ask that assets are divided in a certain way between parties. This can be tricky when the value of assets are in question, such as shares of a business, which can fluctuate quickly.
- Breach of fiduciary duty. For large estates, a trust may be set up or an executor may be named. Beneficiaries can claim breach of fiduciary duty if they feel that the executor has failed to act as instructed or has committed fraud.
I help clients determine the precise scope of the estate dispute so that we can work together to create the best strategy for fighting it. My goal is to help clients get the money or other assets that were intended for them and to honor the deceased loved one’s wishes.
There are many ways to litigate an estate plan, depending on the cause of the dispute. For example, the validity of a will can be questioned if the person who created it was injured or in declining health, calling into question the person’s mental capacity at the time. The validity of the will can also be questioned if the person creating it was under emotional duress, such as having made the change in the heat of anger or while suffering intense grief.
After reviewing your case, I determine the best grounds for challenging the estate and the work needed to collect evidence for it, which may include examining documents, conducting a financial analysis, interviewing witnesses and more. My goal is to build the strongest case possible to help my clients get what is coming to them from the estate, consistent with the law.
Probate litigation is a complex area of law, and you need an experienced attorney to help you sort through the legal issues. I’m dedicated to helping resolve your realistic probate issue in your favor, consistent with the law, and to give you a realistic understanding of your legal rights and options so you know what to expect. Call my office today at (615) 791-8511 to schedule a free consultation, or use my secure online form.