There is nothing worse than the thought of fighting over an estate after a loved one has passed on. Unfortunately, it's not out of the question that you could find yourself in this position at some point.
If the time comes, you need to understand how the probate process works, where you fit in and the steps you can take to put yourself in position to feel good about the end result.
Here are a handful of legal tips to consider if you're fighting another party over an estate:
- Read through everything carefully. This is one of the best things you can do, as it will give you a clear idea of what the will or trust conveys. It's easy to overlook key details when reviewing a legal document, so make sure you take a few passes at it.
- Know your state's laws. You may come to find that there are laws in place that work in your favor. You may also find something that will make it more difficult to fight over an estate and come out on top.
- You don't have to rely on the probate court. While you can wait for the probate court to take on your case, this isn't required. An out of court settlement may be your best option, as it provides the opportunity to work through the challenges in a timely and efficient manner. Mediation doesn't always yield positive results, but it's an idea to consider.
- Search for evidence. For example, you may be able to find something that is not included in the will that gives insight into a person's final wishes. This doesn't necessarily mean it will help you when fighting over an estate, but any bit of evidence that supports your claim is better than none at all.
If you find yourself fighting over an estate you never want to let your emotions take over. You have a lot running through your mind, but you need to proceed in a professional and efficient manner.
Once you understand the finer details of the law and review all available documents, you'll have a clear idea of the next steps to take.