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The number one high risk factor for probate litigation is when heirs don’t get along, or stop communicating. If anyone is unhappy or got an unequal share, it’s a very high risk situation for probate litigation because it’s so easy to begin a dispute. Another high risk factor is when the will is handwritten, which is called a holographic will. As long as it is in your own handwriting and signed by you, that’s valid. Very frequently, those wills get contested.
The same is true for wills that were created online without an attorney. Often times mistakes are made that an estate planning attorney could have prevented, and the will is easier to set aside.
Lastly, when someone writes a will close to the end of their life and they don’t have the required mental capacity. This is especially true if one of the beneficiaries makes the appointment and brings the parent to the meeting.
How Does Probate Litigation Affect The Probate Process As A Whole?
Litigation greatly affects the probate process. The only people who win in a probate litigation are the probate litigation attorneys. It can drag out the process for years, be appealed multiple times, and it’s just a disaster. It costs tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in court and attorney’s fees to litigate a case. What could have taken a few months very often takes years, and the same family usually has to pay all of the fees.
Can A Decision Made By The Probate Court Judge Be Appealed?
A decision made by a probate court judge can be appealed. In fact, it can be appealed twice. There is a Court of Appeals that you can go to first and if the parties aren’t satisfied at that point, you can appeal it to the Supreme Court of Texas. If you are going to the Supreme Court of Texas, the average is over four years to get there. All of the assets in that estate will be tied up for that amount of time. It oftentimes costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees before a case gets to that level.
For more information on High Risk Factors For Probate Litigation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 851-1248 today.