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When You Should Consider Hiring an Estate Litigation Attorney

Fri Oct 30, 2020 | Estate Planning |

When a relative or other loved one dies, there is a period of uncertainty even if there is a will or trust in place. Family members are grieving and yet strained family relations can still come to the surface. Most people do not want to cause trouble during this time and hope that any controversies will simply sort themselves out. Unfortunately, if you wait too long, you could find out too late that your interests have been compromised. A Boca Raton estate litigation attorney can explain your options and help you navigate a challenging situation. 

The Administrator or Trustee is Mismanaging the Estate

Administrators and trustees have legal obligations to manage the estate in the best interest of the beneficiaries. When they fail to do so, valuable estate assets can be depleted, leaving the beneficiaries with far less than they should have received. Mismanagement can take on the following forms: 

  • Failure to pay taxes and other valid claims
  • Commingling personal assets with estate assets
  • Embezzlement of funds from the estate
  • Neglect in managing estate assets or allowing waste
  • Failure to act in a timely manner
  • Lack of transparency or poor record-keeping

If you suspect that the administrator or trustee is mismanaging the estate, a Boca Raton estate litigation attorney can explain your rights and what you can do to resolve the situation. 

Other Parties Are Challenging the Estate

It may be the case that one or two other beneficiaries are challenging their inheritance under the estate. Perhaps they were left out of the will or they thought they were entitled to something more. Whatever the case may be, you need to realize that their claims against the estate may ultimately affect your interests as a beneficiary. 

Estate issues are often complex and can involve sophisticated legal claims. If the other party is represented by counsel, they are already preparing for litigation, and you are at a distinct disadvantage. A Boca Raton estate litigation attorney can keep you apprised of any developments in the dispute, advise you as to what it means for you, and be prepared to step in and take action should you need to protect your interests. 

There Were Sudden and Unexpected Changes to the Estate Documents

It’s not uncommon for people to openly discuss what their intentions are pertaining to their estate in the years leading up to their death. You should consider speaking with a Boca Raton estate litigation attorney if what the estate documents contain is significantly different from what you led to believe. Sudden or unexpected changes to the estate documents could indicate that something inappropriate occurred: 

  • The decedent was a victim of undue influence.
  • The amendments to the will or trust are the result of fraud or forgery.
  • The decedent amended the will or trust at a time when they did not have the mental capacity to do so. 

These are incredibly difficult situations for non-lawyers to navigate as they can be very difficult to prove. If you suspect that you’re facing one of these issues, you should contact an estate litigation attorney as soon as possible. 

Call a Boca Raton Estate Litigation Attorney Today

Even if you aren’t directly involved, an estate dispute can jeopardize your interests. To make matters worse, these are often time-sensitive situations that require immediate attention. If you’re facing a potential estate dispute, contact a Boca Raton estate litigation attorney at Ellis Law Group by calling 561-910-7500 today.