Chattanooga Probate Litigation Attorneys are Here to Help when Wills Get Complicated
Not every Tennessee will is created equally, nor is its administration automatically seamless
In a perfect world, every one who dies, unexpectedly or otherwise, would have a complete and correct will to distribute personal property, naming a willing and able personal representative, with no outside influences. However, in the real world, it is easy to see how every element of the process of writing and administering a will can, and does, go wrong on a daily basis. Even if the deceased did his or her very best in during the creation and revision process, there may be reasons why such an outline is no longer feasible. At that point, or for a number of reasons, a Chattanooga probate litigation lawyer can be engaged to advocate for one or more beneficiaries or other interested parties.
Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law was founded in Chattanooga over seven decades ago, and since that time, we have striven to merit the faith and loyalty of our clients through professionalism and honesty. We are prepared to help our clients through the probate litigation process.
Exploring common probate litigation scenarios
The range of issues that a probate lawyer can assist with is varied, from simple improper signing of the will to high-stakes and emotional intra-familial conflict. First, let us address the issues with the creation, writing and signing of the will. Common issues that can be grounds for probate litigation include:
- Questions of mental capacity. Was the writer fully capable of making sound decisions at the time of the will’s writing?
- Undue influence/intentional interference. During the writing process, was the will-maker being unconsciously manipulated or swayed by a third party for personal gain?
- Duress. Was the will-writer being directly threatened to include or exclude an element into or from the will? This can include schemes for personal vengeance or personal profit.
- Inappropriate/unwilling personal representative. Every will needs to name a personal representative who acts as a trustee or executor of the estate. This person should not only be willing to serve, but also capable of providing impartial, timely, organized and sensible service.
The other most common concerns with wills revolve around family situations that may involve the following:
- Children. All children should be treated equally in a will, with none favored or left out. Those situations can lead to legitimate legal claims.
- Romantic relationships. Subsequent marriages, affairs and prenuptial agreements (or the lack thereof) are all common reasons why a will faces probate litigation.
- Business arrangements. Unless there is a clear succession plan, or a legal document which grants management and/or ownership of a business to a particular party or parties, you may find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit by shareholders, partners, and other interested parties.
Probate litigation can be used to discern the true intentions of the will-writer or to more fairly distribute assets, particularly when the will-creator might not have been capable of making the best decisions at the time of writing. Some clients may be hesitant to pursue probate litigation when their rights have been obscured through a poorly written will; however, the reality is that there are laws protecting the rights of all involved, including their deceased loved one or family member. Our probate attorneys work to make sure those rights are being observed fully.
Contact a knowledgeable, trustworthy probate litigation attorney today
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we employ years of experience with the law and in the community to benefit our clients and their families during some of the most difficult periods of their lives. If you or a family member has any questions about a probate litigation issue, speak with an experienced probate lawyer our firm at 423.799.3532 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We also offer legal services to clients in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and all surrounding counties.