An individual’s death and the subsequent dispute over the distribution of that person’s assets can easily become heated and confrontational. Family members may argue with other family members, and third party creditors may also have a claim. Given the stressful possibilities of such a time, you will want a Philadelphia estate planning lawyer with extensive experience working alongside you.
Common Issues for Estate Litigation
Almost any estate matter is subject to litigation. Some common subjects for dispute involve:
- Undue Influence. Someone may challenge a will or trust document arguing that it was created under undue influence. For example, it may be argued that a medical caregiver or family member exerted undue pressure on the now-deceased individual and forced him or her to draft a will unrepresentative of his or her wishes.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty. The executor or administrator of the estate is supposed to carry out the deceased person’s wishes. It may be argued that the representative of the estate violated this position of trust and distributed the assets in some way other than what was intended.
- Will Contests. Wills may be challenged for a variety of reasons including undue influence, fraud, misrepresentations, and failure to meet the technical requirements for a valid will.
- Hiding of Assets. Creditors of an estate may challenge the estate proceedings, arguing that the executor or administrator of the estate is hiding assets. Creditors are generally entitled to collect their debts from the estate. However, if there are not enough funds in the estate, creditors may have a claim on the assets provided to other beneficiaries.
- Theft From Estate. Various individuals may steal from the estate following death. This can include the executor of the estate, family members, and other interested parties.
Contact a Philadelphia Estate Planning Attorney
If you have a question about an estate planning dispute and possible litigation, you will want to contact an experienced attorney immediately. To learn how Philadelphia estate planning lawyer Anthony Caiazzo can help you, contact him at (215) 465 – 5575 to schedule a consultation.