In the aftermath of a loved one's passing, emotions often run high as family members process their grief and deal with the complexities of settling the deceased's estate. During this time, disputes may arise, adding an extra layer of stress and uncertainty to the probate and estate administration process.

One common type of dispute centers on the validity of the will itself. This can arise from questions about the testator's mental capacity at the time of signing, allegations of undue influence or coercion or concerns about proper execution and witnessing requirements. Some of the other types of disputes that arise over a will include:

  • Interpretation of the will's provisions — The language used in a will can sometimes be ambiguous or open to multiple interpretations, leading to disagreements among beneficiaries regarding the distribution of assets. This is particularly common in wills drafted without the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.
  • Omitted spouses or children — Disputes may also arise when a will excludes certain family members, such as a surviving spouse or children, from inheritance. This can lead to claims of intentional disinheritance or unintentional oversight.
  • Breaches of fiduciary duty — Executors or trustees tasked with managing the estate may face accusations of mismanaging assets, failing to distribute property according to the will or engaging in self-dealing. These breaches of fiduciary duty can result in significant financial losses for beneficiaries.
  • Business succession issues — When a will involves the transfer of ownership or control of a business, disputes may arise among family members regarding the management and operation of the company.

Seeking legal guidance early on can help prevent disputes from escalating and minimize the emotional and financial toll on family members. With the right legal representation, you can ensure that the final wishes of your loved one are respected and your interests are protected.

Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti & Heppell, PC possesses a deep understanding of will disputes and can provide comprehensive legal counsel to individuals facing these challenges. We will work closely with you to assess your situation, develop a strategic approach and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Our North Bay law firm works with clients who are looking to resolve disputes over a deceased loved one’s last will and testament. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, reach out to our firm today by calling 707-674-6057 or contacting us online.