3 Complex Issues That May Occur During Probate and How a Legal Advisor Can Help

Posted on: 6 July 2022

The process of inheriting property after a testator dies starts with verifying the will to determine whether the document is legally binding. Then, the court appoints an executor and a representative to administer the estate and distribute assets as indicated in the will. However, if the deceased has not written a will, the judge will give directions on the estate administration. This process is called probate, and it involves the collection of assets, liquidation of liabilities, payment of taxes, and distribution of assets to heirs. Probate processes can be complicated, so be prepared for the following issues to occur during the process.

Dispute on the Will's Validity

A dispute on the will's validity can complicate the probate process, prolonging it by several weeks or months. Family members and friends of the deceased might challenge a will, claiming that there are some omissions in the document. For example, they might allege that the testator had made a verbal promise to name them as heirs of their assets but did not include the information in a will. A party might also claim that the person who created the will did not do so willingly. In addition, they can claim that the testator had no capacity to create a will. The court will require the person challenging the estate plan to prove why they believe the document is invalid.

Lack of an Executor

When someone is creating a will, they have to name an executor of their document. Their primary duty is to manage the testator's estate and work through the probate process after a testator loses their life. A testator should choose an executor willing to take responsibility when required. Unfortunately, they might have other pressing matters to attend to when a testator loses their life. An executor might also change their mind after the testator loses their life, telling the court that they are unwilling to take the role. Such a move will delay the probate process because heirs must wait until the court appoints another person to administer the probate proceedings.

The Location of Assets and Heirs' Residence  

Different states use various probate laws, making it challenging to implement the probate process when the deceased's assets are located in different states. The process may also be complicated when heirs live in different areas. In such cases, judges must consider all the rules of each state's laws when making decisions.  

The issues above can complicate the probate process. They could force you and your loved ones to wait before inheriting your loved ones' assets after their demise. The best way to navigate them is by working with a probate lawyer. They will handle all the complex issues to enable you and your loved ones to inherit what the testator had indicated in the will.


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