Probate litigation isn’t just about family feuds

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2021 | Probate

Many times, the estate or trust of a former San Diego resident can get embroiled in probate or trust litigation because of disgruntled relatives.

Litigation is possible, for example, when some family members feel like they were treated unfairly in the distribution. Arguments also erupt when family or friend, sometimes a person’s new wife or husband, has seemingly taken advantage of a resident’s vulnerability to get all or a larger part of an inheritance.

These are often complicated cases with high financial stakes. Emotions also frequently run high in these types of disputes, which means that a lawyer trying to help resolve them needs considerable knowledge and experience.

Creditors, including government entities, may file contestable claims

However, litigation is still possible even if family members are getting along great and are all on the same page about the distribution of an estate or trust.

For example, in the case of an estate that goes through the California probate courts, creditors of a business, including taxing authorities, benefits programs and government regulators, are able to file claims against an estate.

If they are allowed, these claims get paid before the heirs receive their expected bequests.

Most people would agree that valid debts should be paid, but the problem is that many creditors file claims that are either disputable or excessive.

The estate of someone who in life was seen as having a lot of money or what actually did have multiple personal and business dealings is more likely to be on the receiving end of an improper claim.

In these situations, an estate may have to go through litigation in order to avoid paying perhaps tens of thousands of dollars which really should go to the family.

Even with respect to trusts and other non-probate assets, litigation with creditors is a possibility.