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Probate litigation and family businesses

| Jan 11, 2021 | Firm News |

With every will, there is a possibility that the heirs may disagree with the allocation. When assets are significant or livelihoods at stake, such as with shares or control of a family business, the likelihood of probate litigation grows.

Under normal circumstances, a business is among the most complex assets a person may have.  But a family business, one operated by and employing an extended family, changes the calculations completely. If you believe you will soon need to protect your interest in a family business, either by defending a will or objecting to one, then you should know that:

There are only a few reasons to contest a will or a trust

Pursuing a will contest is not easy. Most people with significant assets have an estate plan crafted to discourage such actions. That said, there are among the reasons that one would contest a will are:

  • Fraud or forgery: This claim would say that the deceased did not create the will.
  • Undue influence: Like fraud, this claim would say that a person close to the deceased influenced the choices in their will.
  • Lack of witness: Tropes of wills written at the last minute on a napkin are just fiction. In Florida, you must have two witnesses who sign the will in the presence of one another.
  • Improper provisions: Almost all states have basic needs that the attorney drafting the will must meet. If the attorney does not do that properly, the will may not be valid.

Without a sound reason to contest a will, the action will prove fruitless. Depending on your perspective, this can be good or bad.

The personal difficulties of probate litigation

It’s been said that probate litigation is among the most difficult, draining, and challenging things a person can go through. It’s already difficult having lost someone close. It’s even worst to now fight with your siblings or extended family over what’s left behind. But sometimes you have to make difficult choices to protect what you deserve.

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