Drafting a will is one of the safest ways to ensure your property goes to the right heirs when you pass away. However, wills are not foolproof since they may be subject to contestation by the beneficiaries. As a result, you should hire a Dallas estate litigation attorney to help you draft the will and oversee the probate process if the will is contested.
Besides wills, estate litigation attorneys can help in many aspects of the probate, including obtaining information from an estate representative, determining the heirs, and litigation against a fiduciary.
Read on to understand why you should hire an estate litigation attorney.
Drafting a Will
The will is an essential document that outlines the rightful heirs of a property. Therefore, it is best written with the help of a legal expert who understands the probate process.
In addition, wills should meet some formality criteria to remain valid. For instance, if the will isn’t correctly drafted or signed by the required witnesses, it may be contested.
A Dallas estate litigation attorney can help you create a customized will so your heirs will have a seamless process of sharing your estate after your passing.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
A personal representative of an estate has an obligation (fiduciary duty) to manage the property in a fair, transparent, and honest way that benefits all heirs. Legal action may follow if the representative doesn’t honor their fiduciary duties. Similarly, if the representative acts selfishly or irresponsibly, the heirs can institute legal action.
An estate litigation attorney comes in handy during a breach of fiduciary duty to ensure all heirs receive their fair share of the asset.
It is not uncommon for parties interested in an estate to forge a will. Forgery in estate litigation may include changing signatures and documents or creating fake documents to enrich their share of the estate. If you believe your co-heirs have forged a will, you may hire an experienced attorney to help you challenge the validity of the documents in court.
Failure to Account for an Asset
Personal representatives of an estate have a duty to account for the property besides their fiducial duties. For instance, a personal representative may be required to provide a statement of asset sales and other estate transactions. If the representative doesn’t offer reliable account of the estate, an attorney can help institute estate litigation.
Undue Influence to Change a Will
Undue influence occurs due to pressure or misguided opinion to change a will contrary to the owner’s wish. Usually, undue influence comes from friends, close family members, or other parties involved in asset management. If you or your loved one is a victim of undue influence to change a will, you may call a litigation attorney for legal help.
Lack of Mental or Physical Capacity To Understand a Will
Property owners should have the mental and physical capacity to determine how to distribute their assets when drafting a will. In addition, they should be able to understand the consequences of the will at the time of signing. If the heirs have a reason to believe a property owner lacked the mental capacity to draft a will, a litigation attorney can help challenge the document’s legality.