In Virginia, the probate process typically takes months and involves many legal obligations, like securing estate assets, paying off the decedent’s debts, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
Probate can become even more complicated in estate disputes, contested wills, or family conflicts. If probate threatens to become a protracted legal battle, hire a skilled and experienced probate litigation attorney as soon as possible.
The Central Virginia estate and probate lawyers at Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel help beneficiaries and executors settle probate conflicts, misconduct allegations, and other probate-related legal difficulties. Call the Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel law firm from anywhere in Central Virginia at 434-589-2958 and from Powhatan at 804-598-1304 to schedule a free consultation.
What Is Probate Litigation?
The term “probate litigation” covers a range of legal proceedings regarding a deceased person’s estate. Probate litigation may occur in situations that involve legal errors or omissions, misconduct, fraud, incapacity, or any circumstances incompatible with amicable estate administration.
Probate litigation may:
- Contest a will or other estate planning documents that may not comply with Virginia law
- Examine undue influence on a decedent
- Address breaches of fiduciary duty
- Involve the determination of the legal rights of inheritance of a surviving spouse or the children of a former marriage, without regard to the wishes expressed in a will, or in the absence of a will.
Situations That May Require Probate Litigation
Examples of situations that call for probate litigation include:
- Fraud—e.g., if the beneficiaries believe someone forged the decedent’s signature on a will
- Incapacity, like dementia or another mental condition, that could affect the decedent’s judgment
- Undue influence of a family member, caregiver, or another person who could sway the decedent to follow their wishes while drafting a will
- Subsequent Spouses and children from former marriages can often come into conflict which requires probate litigation, particularly where there is no will, but also when the surviving spouse has been omitted from the will and no prenuptial agreement is in place
- Disagreements related to estate administration—e.g., beneficiaries who suspect a will executor has embezzled property from the estate
- Disputing creditor claims while discharging the estate debts
Do You Need a Probate Litigation Attorney?
When does probate cross the line from a routine process to a legal quagmire? While an ordinary estate and probate attorney can settle most probate processes in Virginia, probate conflicts or difficulties call for a probate litigation lawyer with trial experience.
An experienced probate litigation attorney can:
- Examine wills for mistakes, omissions, or ambiguous wording
- Help resolve disputes between beneficiaries and will executors or trustees
- Handle claims of incapacity, undue influence, or fraud
- Settle property titles to prevent any future challenges
- Take the proper legal steps against a trustee or will executor who violated their fiduciary duties
- File or defend a lawsuit in the probate or circuit court under appropriate circumstances.
The experienced probate litigation team of Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel is here to protect your interests during a difficult probate process. We commit to helping our clients navigate probate challenges with minimum stress and hassle.
Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel: Hire a Trusted Probate Litigation Lawyer in Central Virginia
The probate process may involve unexpected difficulties, such as an ambiguous will, doubts about the decedent’s mental capacity, or potential misconduct in estate administration. An experienced probate litigation attorney can keep probate from becoming a legal nightmare.
If you run into legal pitfalls during probate, contact Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel. Our skilled probate litigation lawyers will help you resolve any probate complications.
Call the Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel law firm from anywhere in Central Virginia at 434-589-2958 and from Powhatan at 804-598-1304 to schedule a consultation. Please note: We charge for initial consultations for probate cases.