The issue of disagreement over property distribution is witnessed quite commonly these days. Such disputes can be resolved in a legal way. It involves settling matters of the legal rights and obligations of the parties involved. For this, estate litigation is referred to for handling all the issues related to estate distribution before the court of law. If a person feels that he or she was not treated fairly in a person's will or there was any misconduct in the execution of the will, he or she can take a legal action towards it. This litigation is concerned mainly with family provision applications and the validity of a will.
To make a valid will, there are five essential requirements including the capacity to make a will, the intention to make a will, the knowledge and approval of the contents of a will, compliance with the proper requirements for signing and witnessing a will and the absence of fraud or undue influence. Coming onto the family provision application, if an eligible person was either left out of a will entirely or if an eligible person was not adequately provided for in the will, he or she can seek legal help. There can be some other forms of litigation depending on the issues with the will making.
When we talk of estate litigation, representations are needed in order to enforce a person's rights. They are sought by:
- Beneficiaries – They are the one who were promised the estate in a will, a trust or a life insurance policy. While this is the person who should receive rights to the estate, many complications could arise.
- Family Members – In few cases, when beneficiary's family disagree with the plans for the estate, they need to be represented in the court.
- Trustees – They hold the estate on behalf of the beneficiary. It is the case when the real beneficiary is not yet old enough to own or hold ban estate on his or her own.
- Heirs – They are the people who are legal owners of the property but were not awarded that property in a will. They will need a representation in the court as many other factors come into play when legal entitlement process follows.
- Executors – They can be appointed on behalf of the person whose will is to be prepared in case that person is not well enough or mentally not stable to make his or her will by himself or herself. They need representation in order to make a final say.
- Administrators – When a person's death is sudden and there is no will prepared, in this case, the court appoints administrators who can complete the will of the deceased. They need to be represented in order to defend their decision.
Issues of litigation regarding estate should be consulted with the lawyers who hold estate litigation expertise. These lawyers should be experienced in areas of estate and gift planning, trust preparation, funding and administration, powers of attorney and probate estates, including decedents, guardianships and conservatorships.