Let us kick off our discussion by understanding what probate law is all about. Probate law is the law that outlines the administration of a deceased person property distribution under a will in cases disputes arise. There have been many cases where families disagree over the distribution of property as written in a will by the deceased person.
Probate disputes keep on arising despite people drafting legal wills and documents to avoid unnecessary disputes. Probate law aims to litigating various issues ranging from greed, revenge and resentment among others. There are reasons why probate disputes occur.
What determines if a case qualifies to be heard in a probate court?
This question has been constantly asked by many people planning to file probate cases. As we all know, not all cases will go through probate. There are two factors that influence this decision, namely:
- Monetary value of the disputed property
- The type of assets in the estate
There are some assets named under probate law that don’t qualify to be included in probate court proceedings. The range from joint tenancy owned assets, life insurance where beneficiaries have been named, retirement accounts with named beneficiaries and community property among others.
In addition to the above statement, the value of a property can determine if the case will go into the probate court proceedings or not. Small estates don’t quality to be heard in probate courts. Instead; simpler dispute resolution mechanisms are provided.
Common factors that result in probate disputes
After careful research, here are some common factors that facilitate probate disputes:
Most people don’t understand that poor planning is the leading cause of probate court proceedings. Poor planning results in many things ranging from confusion to disagreements among others. Unresolved disputes are what turn into probate cases. This mistake can be resolved by consulting estate planners or lawyers to guide you through the will drafting process and help rectify any faulty plan.
Fiduciary disagreements are very common. People must be careful when choosing an executor of an estate. They not only need to be trustworthy, but also be able to communicate clearly in a manner details in the will are clearly understood. In addition, the executor must be able to act independently, without being manipulated. There is a high possibility of disputes arising if fail to select a Fiduciary with the above care characteristics.
There are high chances of Surviving parties from multiple marriages disputing over a deceased estate, especially if there is no postnuptial and prenuptial agreement. Such cases are complicated and difficult to solve. In the long run most of the above disputes end up in probate courts, if they meet the set requirements set aside in probate law.
Nonstandard estate plan
It is common to come across these types of plans. These plans can either exclude a certain family member; give them unequal shares or discriminating them among others. Nonstandard estate plan can also include plans that are extremely detailed. Always consult estate planners or a lawyer for guidance.
Probate law has helped many people get their rightful inheritance shares and protect the helpless.