Probate is often considered a necessary evil when it comes to estate planning. When someone passes away, they leave behind their assets and debts. Unfortunately, this process isn’t easy. Probate is already quite complex due to its inherent nature, and it can become even more complicated when disputes arise.
Addressing probate-related conflict will often require a deep understanding of the local laws. This is where your Denver probate lawyer steps in.
In this article, we’ll look at the types of disputes that arise during the probate process and how an estate planning attorney can help you.
Probate is a legal process where a will is ‘proved’ in court as the last testament of the deceased. This is important because the division of assets, settling debts, and transfer of property to heirs will be carried out according to this will.
At its core, probate has several functions.
Validation of the Will
One of the primary purposes of probate is to validate the will of the deceased. This ensures it complies with state laws and was created without undue influence or coercion. If there is no will, the probate court takes over the distribution of assets.
Identifying Assets & Debts
During probate, the deceased person’s assets are put together in an inventory. This includes everything from bank accounts to real estate. At the same time, it identifies any debts the deceased may have owed, such as credit card balances, taxes, or mortgages.
Probate also acts as a mechanism for informing creditors of the deceased person’s passing. This way, they can claim the estate if they are owed any amount.
Once all outstanding debts are settled, the leftover assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries in the will. The state will overlook this process. This distribution is done according to state laws in the event that there is no will.
The probate process is rarely smooth and straightforward. Being a complex process as it is, there is a lot of room for various disputes to pop up.
Inheritance Disputes Among Beneficiaries
A very unfortunate problem in probate is that families find themselves disputing over the division of assets. Sibling rivalries are not uncommon to spark, causing disputes on the fairness with which assets are being distributed. In fact, what may seem like a close-knit family can show their true feelings at times like this.
Beyond this, there may also be questions about the will’s validity. Being the cornerstone of the entire probate process, if the validity of the will is questioned, the entire process crumbles. If beneficiaries claim that the will does not reflect the deceased’s true wishes or that it was written under undue influence or coercion, this could cause problems.
Creditor Claims & Debt Resolution
We know probate doesn’t stop at asset distribution but also includes debt settlement. When creditors step forward with any claims against the estate, there could be disputes around whether these claims are valid or not. Even if they are, there could be further disputes around which debts get priority.
Naturally, every creditor would want to get their money back. A Denver probate lawyer can help you deal with them.
Executor or Personal Representative Conflicts
The probate executor or personal representative appointed to watch over the administration and handling of the process isn’t immune to conflict.
There could be disagreements around how the assets are handled or how the executor communicates with beneficiaries. In fact, there can also be a general complaint about how the estate is managed overall.
These conflicts make the probate process even more conflicted.
Guardianship & Conservatorship Disputes
If any guardians or conservators are involved, probate becomes even more tricky than it already is. There could be conflicts around how well the incapacitated (now deceased) individual was cared for or how their finances were managed.
Even the slightest doubt or suspicion can blow up when family members are pitted against each other in emotionally charged battles.
Disagreements Over Asset Valuation & Distribution
Sometimes, there are also disputes around the valuation and distribution of assets. There could be disagreements around how these assets are valued and what should be done with them.
With all the complications that can pop up with probate, it becomes a difficult thing to manage for grieving families who are already going through a tough time.
A Denver estate planning attorney plays a significant role in helping you get through the legalities without trouble and resolve any disputes efficiently.
Expertise and Qualifications
An estate planning lawyer in Denver would be well-versed in the Colorado state laws around probate. Because the law is often quite nuanced, you must navigate it carefully. With their expertise in the field, a lawyer can guide you through it.
Because Denver probate attorneys also have extensive experience handling probate cases, they can help you reach a conclusion that works out best for everyone involved. They can also handle the filing and documents the Denver County Probate Court needs. This way, you can be sure the entire process complies with the legal requirements and deadlines.
Mediation & Conflict Resolution
A Denver probate lawyer’s primary role is mediating disputes between the parties involved in the probate process. They have the negotiation and conflict resolution skills to reach settlements that work out for everyone involved.
If the conflict escalates into something bigger and mediation isn’t working, the attorney can represent you in court. They can present your case and argue for your interests, ensuring your rights are protected.
Reducing Emotional Strain
Probate is a difficult time. Given its nature, the people involved are already grieving their loved ones and cannot handle all the complications of the law and conflicts on their own. Since it’s a highly emotional time, relevant parties would struggle to deal with these issues. They might also make emotionally driven decisions that could work against them in the law.
The biggest mistake you can make when dealing with probate is to forego legal representation.
You need a Denver probate lawyer by your side to manage all the complexities of probate and arrive at a favorable outcome.
So, call the Bourassa Law Group at(800)870-8910 and let our capable probate attorneys help you navigate the complicated world of law.
3 Ways to Prevent Probate without a Living Trust in Nevada
Probate is the legal process that involves reviewing and administrating a deceased person’s will or estate. Typically, there is an executor named in the will, or an administrator is appointed without a will. The probate process distributes the assets among the beneficiaries. Probate is a lengthy, complicated, and expensive process in Nevada. It ties up […]
A Basic Overview of Probate in Nevada
Probate is the legal process by which a court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets to their heirs or beneficiaries. In Nevada, probate is governed by the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and is typically required when a person dies with assets held in their name rather than in a trust or other non-probate […]
A Brief Overview of Probate in Nevada
After someone dies, the court supervises the transfer of their assets and the settlement of their debts and taxes during a process known as probate. Due to the length and cost of this process in Nevada, many people opt for Trusts or other alternatives to avoid it. In this article, we will provide a brief […]
A Quick Guide to Advanced Health Directive Forms for Colorado Residents
The Advanced Health Directive Form is a written instruction that contains information about what you want in terms of health treatment in case you lose the capacity to make your own decisions. Despite how important this document is, very few adults in Colorado have an official plan in place for end-of-life care. It is best […]
A Quick Guide to Business Succession Planning in Probate
When someone starts or owns a business, they often think about how to keep it running in the future, especially if they retire or pass away. This process of planning who will take over and how is called business succession planning. Now, when the owner of a business dies, there’s a legal step called probate […]
A Quick Guide to Colorado Probate Cases Involving Foreign Assets
With how easy it is to stay connected with the rest of the world, it’s no longer uncommon for people’s finances to span international borders. People can invest in all sorts of assets from foreign real estate to offshore investments. However, as great as it is to hold these assets, it becomes a problem when […]