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Going it alone in probate litigation may yield uncertainty


Estate planning tools, such as wills and trusts, enable Pennsylvanians to designate how their assets will be distributed among heirs or beneficiaries after their death. However, wills and trusts are subject to dispute. Anyone who has had to contest a will and testament or who has had to become involved in questions concerning trusts can attest to the fact that probate litigation is very technical. Going it alone, without the help of legal counsel, is not likely to yield favorable results.

People contest what is written in the will and trust for many reasons. Some may think that the distribution of property and assets is unfair to them, perhaps because the signer was incapacitated when the will was created and signed. Fraud is also a possible reason for will contests.

Probate litigation and asset disputes can be prevented with a little diligence. Authors of a will and testament can revise the document over the course of their lifetime, and they should consider doing so in light of changing state laws and tax regulations, particularly when deciding to whom the property or assets will be given. They can also change the beneficiaries depending on their personal preference. It is also important to start estate planning early on in life to avoid having to sign crucial documents under stressful circumstances. Authors need to leave plenty of time to calmly decide on all the issues related to their estate.

In Chester, Pennsylvania, and throughout the country, when someone becomes embroiled in probate litigation, such as will contests, inheritance disputes or trust disputes, the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional is vital. The probate process is complicated. Having the assistance of a legal professional enables a person to understand what is going on and why.

Source: Wtxl.com, "5 Probate problems that a probate lawyer can help with," Keith Morris, Jan. 6, 2014

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