Compassionate Legal Representation in Probate, Will, and Trust Litigation Cases
When a loved one passes away, the following days, weeks, and months are extremely challenging emotionally. However, at a time when a family needs to grieve their loss, there are often administrative issues that will present themselves. The administration of the decedent’s estate according to his or her wishes needs to occur, and in many cases, the process is complex and frustrating.
Attorney Andrew Scott Martin offers experienced legal representation to those who find themselves in the midst of a dispute over their loved one’s estate. Disputes can arise from a variety of circumstances, but without adequate legal guidance, it is much more difficult to move through the process of probate, will, or trust litigation. By working with a veteran estate litigation attorney, you can increase the chances that your dispute will be resolved amicably and in your favor.
Under Missouri probate law, when an individual passes away, a probate court must identify and evaluate their assets. The court will then make a determination on how taxes and other necessary expenses will be made, as well as distribute the assets of the deceased person to the heirs as described in the will.
However, there are many situations that will stop the probate process in its tracks and require the need for litigation before moving forward. For example, if one or more of the beneficiaries are not given the opportunity to inventory the assets of the deceased, or one of the beneficiaries fails to meet their fiduciary obligations, the case may need to be litigated. Probate litigation can be a lengthy and costly process, making the need for a seasoned attorney even more important.
It is also beneficial to work with an attorney in the case of trust disputes. Trust administration can be extraordinarily complex, and failure to administer a trust properly can have a significant negative impact on everyone involved. In cases where the administration of a trust is disputed, litigation may need to be pursued.
Examples of reasons why trust litigation may become necessary include but are not limited to undue influence, trust fraud, claims from creditors, failure of the trustee to pay the correct beneficiaries, and failure of the trustee to perform annual accounting and reporting requirements. If you are involved in a trust dispute, it is critical that you reach out to an attorney as quickly as possible to protect your rights under the law.
If a person passes away with a will, the document will be examined and the wishes of the deceased carried out according to the will. However, there are some scenarios that may cause disputes to arise regarding the will, also known as a “contested will.” For example, if a beneficiary listed in the will believes that the deceased individual was not of sound mind when creating the document, he or she can bring forward evidence that supports that claim. Any beneficiaries that disagree can bring forward evidence to dispute the claim.
In order to contest a will, there must be sufficient grounds to do so. In addition to the above, the following scenarios may also be considered grounds to contest a will:
The will was not signed according to Missouri state law
The deceased individual (also called the Testator) was threatened or coerced into creating the will
The Testator failed to make provisions in the will for dependent individuals, such as a spouse or a child
If you have grounds to contest a loved one’s will, or you disagree with a loved one’s will being contested by another party, contact an experienced estate litigation attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer can help you protect your rights and the wishes of your deceased loved one.
Contact Andrew Scott Martin Today
Attorney Andrew Martin understands how devastating the death of a loved one can be and how difficult the upcoming administrative challenges will be. He is committed to providing his clients with quality legal representation throughout each stage of the case, and he will passionately pursue the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Don’t wait to get the legal help you need after a loved one dies. Call Attorney Martin today for a consultation to discuss your loved one’s estate and the legal options that may be available to you.