Experienced Probate Attorneys in Scottsdale

More than a few Scottsdale residents view probate litigation as an unsolvable mystery. Many avoid key issues, hoping family disputes will just go away. Ask any person who has dealt with a contested Trust or Will whether avoidance made things better. It didn’t.

What is Probate Litigation?

Scottsdale Probate LawyerHere at Stewart Law Group, we have observed firsthand how misunderstood the area of probate law can be. When someone passes away, a court will help to identify and distribute the assets of the deceased to their legal heirs as laid out in a will. When someone contests these proceedings, litigation is required to determine the correct distribution of assets. Some may argue the estate plan is faulty. Others could claim the distribution is unfair. Still, others insist on the exercise of duties by the trustee, executor, or personal representative were below standard. The truth is, litigation can come from any direction. These situations should be dealt with in court for the best possible outcome. 

Probate Court Litigation Can Be Highly Personal

Are you the trustee, beneficiary, devisee, or heir? All of the above? Probate can be highly personal, especially when an individual wears more than one hat.

There is a lot going on in these cases so always consult a qualified attorney near you regarding contested Wills, Trusts, or Estates. The same family members you celebrated the holidays with could claim a number of things including:

  • You were overpaid as fiduciary
  • You mishandled property
  • Proceedings were unnecessarily delayed
  • Unfair distributions were made
  • You spent excessively
  • And more

Because these matters tend to be very personal, and often involve family, taxes, and federal law, working through the problems without legal representation is not recommended.   

Personality conflicts, sibling rivalries, and distrust worsens existing concerns over the cost of administration, wasted resources, diminished assets, and the like. Both relations and relationships can exacerbate legitimate issues and increase tensions.  

Fiduciaries in Probate Matters

Second-guessing every decision as trustee; worrying you will be challenged no matter what you do, it’s a tremendous burden. Being on the receiving end of a beneficiary’s increasingly hostile phone calls is bad enough. Don’t let conflicts like these invade precious personal time.

Serving as a trustee of a trust, executor of a Last Will, or personal representative of a decedent’s estate is often a thankless job. You wouldn’t be the first to learn how complex the role of fiduciary typically is. Personalities and emotional baggage can make straightforward tasks quite difficult. As a relative or friend of the family, accountants and other professionals are not immune from litigation either.

Heirs, Beneficiaries, and Devisees in Contested Probate

You could be one of several devisees to a deceased parent’s estate by Will. But things just aren’t adding up. It’s not unusual to believe in an executor’s qualities or abilities when first appointed. But trust fades with questionable decisions, favoritism toward certain devisees, or deliberate mishandling for personal gain. This could be the turning point. Talk to a qualified attorney near you about revoking letters of personal representation.

Litigation involving beneficiary rights is a potential minefield for anyone unrepresented by a probate lawyer. People make plans around what they believe they will inherit or be gifted. They incur debts and buy property in reliance on a future distribution from the estate. When that distribution does not come to fruition as anticipated because of the grantor’s trust amendment or testator’s Will codicil, then a challenge could follow.  

Challenge to Validity

Validity or invalidity of a trust or trust amendment can also form the basis for probate litigation. That’s also true with a Last Will or codicil to the Last Will that changes distribution percentages, omits a beneficiary, delays distribution to a specific child, or creates a spendthrift trust. A person who lacked the capacity to create a valid estate plan brings into question the entire plan’s validity.

Anyone whose inheritance rights are harmed or obstructed may pursue litigation against the estate, including creditors. A spouse may seek to enforce community property rights. An adult child from the decedent’s first marriage may claim a share despite being omitted from the Will. Every case has unique challenges.  

What Our Clients Have to Say:

“Robert Howard is an outstanding attorney and asset to the Stewart Law Group. He and his team were always available, timely in their responses to my questions and very understanding of this difficult time in my life. Mr. Howard is extremely knowledgeable and professional. He proactively managed case details while always being mindful of the big picture and my future well being. With heartfelt gratitude, I commend Mr. Howard for his expert advocacy and I recommend him without hesitation.”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Deborah Gladstone
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Quality Representation for Probate Litigation Matters in Scottsdale

Our experienced Scottsdale legal team is committed to providing representation of the highest quality to all our clients. Contact us or call 480-425-1400 and schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney who can help. Feel free to email your question to info@arizonalawgroup.com and we will quickly, discretely respond.