Although we all hope we will be able to avoid family conflict and litigation through the proper planning and administration of our estates, the reality is, poor communication, general misunderstandings and strained family relationships can cause major problems – even with the most well-executed estate plan. Contesting a will tends to be a complicated process, so if you have concerns your own estate will be contested or you believe your loved one’s will does not represent his/her wishes, it is important to speak with an experienced contested estates lawyer who can advise you.
Contested Estates Claims
In Illinois, there are several legal actions that could lead to a contested estates claim, including:
● Will contests based on allegations of fraud, undue influence, a lack of testamentary capacity, or improper execution;
● Recovery of an asset, which was wrongfully withheld from an estate;
● Guardianship litigation related to naming a guardian or determining how guardianship funds should be managed;
● Disputes involving joint tenancy with rights of survivorship;
● Issues related to healthcare directives or power of attorney designations;
● Allegations of unreasonable fiduciary compensation; and
● Disputes related to trust administration, including problems with trust accountings or allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty.
Resolving these types of legal matters can be a difficult process, so if you or a loved one have questions or concerns about one or more of these matters, please call our contested estates legal team today.
How Long Does it Take to Contest an Estate?
No two legal proceedings are the same, so there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to determining how long it will take to contest an estate. Generally, if a case settles before going to court, these proceedings could be resolved in less than a year. On the other hand, when a case is litigated, these types of proceedings tend to last for at least a few years. These delays have several different causes, including:
● The parties’ inability to compromise and negotiate;
● Extensive and time-consuming discovery caused by the parties’ lack of transparency;
● Complex assets, which make it more difficult to distribute an estate;
● The existence of multiple parties and competing interests; and
● The level of contention between the parties involved in the litigation.
Fortunately, it is possible to avoid lengthy and protracted contested estates litigation by being willing to compromise when necessary and being forthcoming with discovery requests. However, in most cases, the best way to avoid contested estates litigation is to create a clear estate plan. When avoiding litigation is not possible, it is important for the parties involved to speak with an attorney about their legal options before initiating legal proceedings.
Contact Our Office for Help with Your Contested Estates-Related Questions and Concerns
Please call 847-325-5559 today to speak with one of the dedicated Glenview contested estates lawyers at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. Attorneys at Law about your own pending legal proceedings. A member of our team is standing by and eager to help you through each step of your case, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.