The probate process is how you cement the legacy of a loved one who has passed away to ensure it ripples across generations. But when issues arise during it, probate litigation in Orange County is often imminent. Probate litigation can feel daunting, but fortunately, we are here to help you navigate it with confidence.
At Gokal Law Group, our probate litigation lawyers in Orange County have helped beneficiaries navigate this process successfully for years with confidence and peace of mind. Read our blog to learn how to navigate it and what to expect.
What is the Process of Probate Litigation in Orange County?
When disputes arise during the probate process, litigation often follows. Understanding what to expect during probate litigation in Orange County is essential to successfully navigating this process. Read on to learn what you should know about the process.
What is Probate Litigation in Orange County?
Probate laws are unique, especially in Orange County. Probate litigation refers to lawsuits someone files in probate court and the process of resolving these disputes. This type of litigation takes many forms, like:
- Will contests
- Trust disputes
- Accusations of undue influence
- Disproving false creditor claims
- Removing executors for a breach of fiduciary duties
Probate litigation in Orange County is a two-sided coin. On one hand, beneficiaries may need a probate attorney to file a lawsuit against a trustee or executor. On the other hand, trustees or executors may need a probate lawyer to defend against lawsuits.
What Can Go Wrong During the Probate Process?
During the probate process, several situations can arise that require probate litigation in Orange County. The probate process is a vehicle to finalize an individual’s finances after they pass away, including passing their property onto heirs and beneficiaries.
Typically, the deceased person, or decedent, will designate an executor in their will who will be responsible for estate administration and guiding their estate through probate. If a decedent passes away without a will, issues usually arise.
In these situations, the court appoints an executor and distributes their property and assets according to intestate succession laws, which are complicated. During these circumstances, loved ones argue over who should serve as the executor and what they deserve to inherit.
“The probate process begins with the decedent’s will or lack thereof. This beginning stage, unfortunately, is also where we often see things go awry. We recently worked on a case where a beneficiary manipulated the decedent into changing their will before they passed away, exploiting their deteriorating mental state to increase their inheritance. We were able to prove undue influence occurred in court and defend the other beneficiaries’ rights and inheritance.” – Anum Arshad, an associate probate litigation lawyer in Orange County at Gokal Law Group with years of experience in California probate court
Other situations that commonly result in probate litigation in Orange County are when family members are disinherited intentionally or unintentionally. In some situations, certain loved ones, like spouses, have a legal right to inherit at least a portion of the estate.
When Do You Need a Probate Litigation Attorney in Orange County?
As an heir or beneficiary, hiring a probate litigation attorney in Orange County may be necessary if you have concerns regarding your loved one’s last will and testament.
For example, maybe you were omitted despite being entitled to a portion of the estate. Or perhaps you are worried that the executor entrusted with estate administration displayed concerning behavior, like a lack of transparency or self-dealing.
Regardless, whenever a dispute arises and you are concerned about the well-being of an estate, working with a premier probate litigation lawyer in Orange County is crucial to understanding the recourse available and entering the courtroom with confidence.
Hire Top Orange County Probate Litigation Lawyers
Probate litigation in Orange County can feel daunting without experience, expertise, or guidance. However, an experienced attorney can help navigate this process and emerge from the other end with confidence that you will achieve your desired outcome.