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Mixed Emotions Frequently Surface During The Probate Process

Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person who may or may not have created a will or trust prior to their death with instructions for the distribution of their assets. When a person dies with a will, the distribution of their assets will commence according to their wishes expressed in their will. If a person dies without a will or a trust, the distribution of their estate will be according to California’s probate laws by a court-approved executor or administrator.

Not every estate will have to go through probate. Not every asset is subject to probate laws. Estates with assets under $166,250 may avoid California’s probate court. Assets with named beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies, checking accounts or 401(k)s, for example, will not go through probate, but rather be distributed directly to the named beneficiary.

Individuals and families who were never litigious can become combative after the death of a loved one during the probate process. Grief, anger, criticism and confusion are emotions that frequently surface when matters of one’s rightful inheritance are on the line. During probate, hotly contested estates will have an added measure of greed and spite to resolve.

Errors And Misconduct In The Probate Process Can Lead To Contentious Disputes

Sometimes the contents of a will are challenged by potential heirs or beneficiaries who feel their loved one was not of sound mind when the will was created, or that the will was created under duress or undue influence, thus does not truly express their loved one’s intentions for the distribution of their assets.

Disputes also frequently arise when the executor or administrator of the estate falls short of beneficiaries’ and heirs’ expectations about notices and timely distribution of the estate. The legal team at Van Dyke & Associates, APLC, has vast experience with the gamut of emotions accompanying the probate process in California. We are highly skilled negotiators and litigators serving potential beneficiaries, heirs, as well as executors and administrators.

When the lower court fails to interpret current legislation and case law properly, submits improper evidence or jury instructions among other errors, an appeal to the higher court may correct that error. Our attorneys provide post-trial relief in California’s appellate courts to contest an adverse ruling or to uphold a ruling.

Contact Our Probate Lawyers For Assistance

Our attorneys have a track record of successfully achieving favorable results for our clients in negotiation and the courtroom. Call our office in San Diego at 619-514-2094 or send us an email to schedule an appointment to discuss your probate concerns.