Generally speaking, it's not easy to get a court to rule a will is invalid. For the most part, as long as the will follows all the formal requirements, a court is likely to find it is enforceable.
Many disputes in trust and probate litigation concern the validity of a will, and for good reason. A will is a very powerful document. The person who created the will is no longer around to clear up any confusion or misunderstandings, and so the language must be very precise. The probate court examining the will needs to be certain that the will represents the person's wishes, and so it must find that the will meets strict formal requirements. Some of the most difficult cases involve handwritten wills.
Many cases of trust and probate litigation arise when people who thought they might inherit something from a friend or relative find out only after that person's death that they were left out of the will. But if they aren't named in the will, how do they find out? The answer is in the California probate court's requirement of notice.
Sifting through the details of an estate after a loved one dies can be a difficult and stressful task. While these situations can sometimes be completed without any friction between the parties involved, disputes can easily break out because of the emotional nature of the process. If this happens, it's important to have the right kind of representation on your side.
In a recent California case that saw trust and probate litigation, six siblings named in a trust after their parents' deaths, couldn't agree on how to move forward. Five of the siblings were in agreement to leave the funds in the trust in hopes of appreciation. One sibling disagreed and wanted to be cashed out of the trust. How the court responded is certainly new precedent for these type of trust litigation cases.
When a loved one or a family member passes away there can be a swirl of activity concerning their trust, will or status of their estate. The process can be seemingly cut and dried if the person left a valid will, trust doctrine or estate plan. However, even with these documents in place, it can still leave some questions as to the details of the trust administration or other estate plan or will. The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear the final appeal on the issue of trust contention and a disinherited person's ability to contest.
Both a trust or a will may be challenged in certain circumstances. When that is the case, it is important to know how to handle the challenge of trust litigation or a will contest.