An Iowa estate litigation lawyer might be just the person you need to hire if you encounter issues in the management of estate administration. This can be referred to as probate litigation or estate dispute litigation. There are many different kinds of legal disputes that can fall under this umbrella, such as arguments over testamentary documents for a decedent like a trust or a will.
In many cases estate litigation includes family feuds which can cause serious problems between family members in the short and long term while also decreasing the value of assets inside the estate. This is why it is critical to retain knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible.
Without an estate litigation attorney, your family is exposed to major potential issues in the closing out of an estate. Don’t let this happen to you. Set aside time to speak to a lawyer who is highly knowledgeable about the kinds of challenges present with disputes.
Kinds of Estate Disputes
As an estate litigation lawyer in Iowa can tell you, many different forms of disputes can emerge during this process and in some complicated cases, there may be more than one issue at play. One of the most common forms of estate disputes is a will contest because the validity of a will can be challenged on a few different grounds like fraud, duress, undue influence, lack of mental capacity, and execution mistakes.
Another issue that can become a probate dispute is intentional interference with an inheritance in which an heir was expected to receive a portion of a decedent’s estate but was not able to do so because of a defendant’s wrongful or intentional actions. In these cases the individual would retain an Iowa probate litigation lawyer to recover monetary damages from that defendant.
A third type of probate litigation includes guardianship contests which are suits to decide supervision of a person who does not have the appropriate mental capacity to make their own legal decisions. The fourth common type of case that would prompt you to hire an Iowa probate litigation attorney are breach of fiduciary duty actions.
A person appointed to handle the administration of an estate is referred to as an executor or personal representative. This individual has responsibilities and duties with which they are charged to carry out and the failure to appropriately administer these can expose them to liability. Inactions or the inability to properly administer an estate, either by omission or overt acts, can be legally actionable on behalf of the beneficiaries who can challenge this in court. In some cases, the removal of this fiduciary may be the next step to pursue.
If funds have been mismanaged or wasted or exorbitant fees have been charged by the personal representative, a probate litigation attorney in Iowa can help the wronged heirs to file a suit and seek recovery in the form of monetary relief for the estate. In other cases, estate dispute issues can involve even more complex factors, such as real estate, insurance and small business concerns.
In these cases it is even more important to retain the services of a dedicated probate attorney to get support early on. Estate representatives, trust fiduciaries and beneficiaries, all may become involved in estate litigation in Iowa. In these cases, it can be very complex to handle these types of cases and it is common for the personal representative to feel in over their head especially if actions were alleged against them. In these cases it is imperative to both act quickly and to gather appropriate evidence either to support or defend a claim. The retention of a knowledgeable attorney can help minimize negative outcomes and prepare all involved parties for this process.