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probate litigation Archives

An out-of-date estate plan can lead to disputes

It is not enough just to have an estate plan. You need to make sure that it is actually up to date. This is a constant process. Writing a will and then forgetting about it for 10 years does not help anyone. Your assets could change significantly in that time.

Should you challenge a will?

When an estate plan gets to probate court, you may want to challenge the will. The most common reason for a challenge is that a family member thinks the will is inaccurate. It does not describe what a loved one believes the deceased person wanted.

Do a high percentage of wills get challenged?

Your last remaining parent passes away. You know that they did their estate planning, but you also worry that you and your siblings will not see eye-to-eye regarding that plan. You've never really gotten along as adults, and you fear that they'll try to challenge the will almost no matter what it says.

Reasons for sibling rivalry

Parents often spend a lot of time trying to diffuse sibling rivalries when the children are young. However, those rivalries do not always go away. They often last into adulthood. When a parent passes away, these rivalries may come back up and cause some serious estate planning disputes.

Sibling rivalry, even in adulthood, can lead to estate disputes

In some cases, estate disputes start because of sibling rivalry. The way that kids have related to each other all their lives can continue even into adulthood. This can make them compete with one another or resent each other. Those feelings come back up when they do not agree with a will or estate plan.

Picking the wrong estate executor is a serious mistake

People make a lot of mistakes when creating wills and estate plans. Some don't make a will at all. Others forget about tax implications. Still others don't think about the sentimental value of certain items and create conflict between siblings.

More or less than one will can cause probate problems

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.

Should an executor pay off an estate's bills right away?

The executor for an estate is often charged with taking care of the bills and financial obligations of the estate when the person who owned it passes away. After all, even if that person worked hard to be up-to-date on the bills, there may be final payments for utilities, credit cards, mortgage payments, funeral costs, taxes and much more.

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