Everyone wants to control their fortunes, and there are many laws in California that allow people to leave their assets and possessions to the people and organizations they love. Some people do not have a living will to govern these desires, and when there's no will, the only way is probate court.
This problem exists for all classes and types of people and estates. Several famous artists and economic leaders left no will, and children and relatives have relied on courts to assign portions of wealth. One artist left two wills, forcing a private agreement between the two possible benefactors months after the man's death.
Probate litigation is the only solution when there is no will or there is a significant contest over the terms of a will. Many pieces of evidence can be considered by a court to make the division of assets as fair as possible. A person's known intentions can even become evidence to decide the fate of assets and possessions.
The easiest situation for a probate court is usually when a person's wishes were clearly expressed to and understood by all parties during the person's life. Judges will generally work within the bounds of the legal system to execute these wishes or assign someone to do so. Trusts can also help clarify the fate of specific assets once the owner is deceased.
Any probate litigation to resolve the terms of a person's wishes for assets suggests that parties retain proper legal counsel. The details of probate litigation are often best handled by an attorney. Legal representation may also ease the burdens of writing wills, creating trusts and other ways to ease probate litigation in the future.