Estate Litigation Attorneys in Anderson, Indiana Navigating Estate-Related Lawsuits for Clients
When a loved one passes away, the grief that family members go through should not be complicated by questions about the legality of the will, the validity of debts, the conduct of those who hold fiduciary responsibilities, or other legal issues. Unfortunately, however, legal issues around the estate of deceased loved ones do come up, and when they do, Beeman Heifner Benge has skilled estate planning attorneys to help you through this difficult time.
What Are Some Examples of Estate Litigation?
Estate litigation is a term that refers to any issue surrounding a person’s estate that involves legal action. Examples include family members contesting the validity of a will, inheritance disputes, estate tax lawsuits, misconduct claims against an executor or other fiduciary, will fraud, trust misadministration, or any legal action surrounding the elements of an estate.
The most common estate litigation involves challenges to a will that is already subject to administration, meaning that the creator of the will (the testator) has died. This is not the only kind of estate litigation that occurs, however. Trustees of trusts may be accused of conflicts of interest or misconduct, or may even be held liable for poor investment decisions. Removing a negligent or malicious trustee is one thing that estate litigation can accomplish. Another kind of estate litigation involves claims against the estate, which can be complicated due to short statutes of limitations, formal pleading requirements, and limitations on admissible testimony.
The last thing a grieving family needs is the burden of navigating a complicated probate court system just as they are trying to heal from the loss of a loved one. An experienced estate litigation attorney can take on much of the weight of such cases, leaving the family in peace to deal with the loss of their loved one.
What is the Difference Between an Attorney and a Litigator?
All litigators are lawyers, but not all lawyers are litigators. A litigator is an attorney with skill and experience in the courtroom. Not all lawyers have this skill, as some prefer to work on paperwork issues such as contracts, estate planning, and other practice areas that do not typically involve arguing a case in court.
Litigators, while they may also take cases that do not involve court appearances, have experience and skill in representing their clients in the courtroom, making arguments before judges and juries, and meeting the requirements of court cases. Our estate litigation attorneys have the courtroom experience and skill that you need to present your best case in court.
How Do I Contest a Will in Indiana?
Not just anyone off the street can contest a will in Indiana. In order to contest a will, the individual must have “standing.” In other words, the person must have a legitimate legal interest in the administration of the will. This may include beneficiaries, family members (whether beneficiaries or not), business partners, or others with a legal interest. There is a time limit on how long those with legal standing have to contest a will. The window for filing a challenge to a will closes three months from the day the will was admitted to probate. Assuming that a person has standing and is within the statute of limitations for filing a dispute, they must file the contest with the court that has jurisdiction over the probate of the will in question.
Call Beeman Heifner Benge Today
Contesting a will or proceeding with any other kind of estate litigation will involve paperwork, deadlines, legal requirements, and, most likely, court appearances. For the layperson to navigate the complicated probate court system is challenging, at best. A skilled estate litigator from Beeman Heifner Benge can assist you in all steps of the estate litigation process, up to and including representing you in court with professionalism and skill. Contact us today by calling (765) 234-8024 for a free consultation.