What is Probate Litigation?

Under probate law, a probate court identifies a deceased person’s assets, decides on the payment of taxes and other expenses, and distributes the property among the legal heirs provided for in a will. Most matters handled in probate court are standard and uncontested. A legal contest that may arise after an individual’s death or mental incapacity is filed in a probate court and can be called probate litigation. This process involves court battles between the heirs mentioned in the will over issues such as guardianship and conservatorship, powers of attorney, patient advocacy and living wills.

There are high risk factors for probate litigation such as sibling rivalry, second or multiple marriages and generally dysfunctional families. People that marry many times without a prenuptial agreement may incite probate litigation. Life insurance trusts are sometimes the best way to separate the interests of the deceased spouse’s children from the surviving spouse and provide for both. If you have a non-standard estate plan such as those that may omit a child, treat siblings differently, are overly detailed or make gifts to a non-family member, increase the odds for probate litigation. If the fiduciary, trustee or executor of an estate is poorly chosen, the odds for litigation increase again.

If there are valid challenges to an estate, there are strict statutes of limitations that apply. The probate court will not proceed with a claim that goes beyond the statute of limitations. Finding the right attorney who is experienced and skilled in probate litigation as soon as possible after deciding to contest an estate is of paramount importance. Michael Peter Rubas is one such attorney.

Other contested matters in probate litigation may include:

  • Challenges to the validity of a will
  • Will and trust construction suits
  • Guardianship contests
  • Trust modifications and trust reformation suits
  • Trust termination suits
  • Breach of fiduciary duty actions

Certified criminal trial attorney Michael Peter Rubas has protected the civil and individual rights of all people for several years. His powerful and effective legal representation is well known throughout New Jersey. He is a strong and persuasive litigator who focuses on the needs of his clients at all times and will fight to achieve their desired outcome. Attorney Rubas has offices in Spring Lake Heights and Jersey City, New Jersey and can be reached at 732-820-4332 or 201-448-9866. You can also email him at info@rubaslawoffices.com.