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Columbus, Ohio Probate Litigation Attorneys

Probate litigation in the state of Ohio is a legal process that involves disputes over the administration of an estate, a will or a trust. It can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it can be necessary to protect the rights of heirs and beneficiaries of a deceased person's estate. Probate litigation can include any number of issues including the validity of a will, the interpretation of a trust, or the mismanagement of an estate’s assets. The most important aspect of probate litigation is to ensure that the decedent's wishes are carried out.


Common Types of Probate Litigation

  • Contesting a will: This type of litigation involves challenging the validity of a will. Grounds for a will contest may include undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, or fraud. Perhaps the will was not properly executed, the testator (the person who made the will) was at fault, or the will was procured through undue influence.

  • Trust challenges: This type of litigation involves challenging the validity of a trust or the actions of a trustee. Grounds for a trust challenge may include breach of fiduciary duty, self-dealing, mismanagement of trust assets, interpretation of the trust agreement, or the removal of a trustee.

  • Breach of fiduciary duty: This type of litigation involves alleging that an executor, administrator, or trustee has failed to fulfill their legal duties to the estate or trust. An executor or administrator has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate. If that duty is breached they can be sued by the beneficiaries.

  • Contested heirships: A contested heirship claim is filed by an individual who claims to be an heir of the decedent, but whose heirship is disputed by other interested parties.

  • Removal of an executor or administrator: A petition to remove an executor or administrator can be filed if the individual is found to be unfit to serve, such as if they are mismanaging assets or have a conflict of interest.

  • Accounting disputes: This type of probate litigation involves disputes over the accuracy of an executor's or administrator's accounting of the estate's assets and liabilities, or other matters such as failing to pay creditors.

  • Beneficiary disputes: This type of litigation involves disputes between beneficiaries over the distribution of estate assets.


How to Avoid Probate Litigation

  • Creating a clear and concise will: A well-written will can help to prevent disputes over the distribution of assets and the interpretation of the testator's wishes. Make sure your will is properly executed and witnessed.

  • Reviewing your estate plan regularly: Your estate plan, including wills and trusts, should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in your life circumstances and the law.

  • Communicating with your beneficiaries: It is important to communicate with your beneficiaries about your estate plan and your wishes for the distribution of your assets. This can help to prevent surprises and disputes after your death.

  • Working with an experienced estate planning attorney: An experienced estate planning attorney can help you to create a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs and minimizes the risk of probate litigation.


Contact Our Attorneys

If you are involved in a probate dispute, it is important to consult with our experienced probate litigation attorneys. Our Columbus attorneys can help you to understand your legal rights and options. We can help mediate or negotiate any disputes and also expertly handle any court related issues. Contact us today for a consultation.

Ohio Probate Litigation FAQ

How is a probate litigation case filed in Ohio?

Firstly, a petition is filed with the probate court. The petition should state the nature of your dispute and the relief you are seeking. Once the petition is filed, the other interested parties in the estate will be served with notice. A hearing is then scheduled to consider the petition.


How long will probate litigation take?

Probate litigation cases can vary in complexity and length. In some cases, the parties may be able to resolve the dispute through mediation or negotiation. However, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case may go to trial.


Is it necessary to hire an attorney for probate litigation?

A probate litigation attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and can also represent you in court. Their advice is invaluable and they will be able to represent you in the best interpretation of estate and probate law.


Helpful Resources:

Probate Law Facts

Executors & Administrators: Appointment; Powers; Duties

Ohio Probate Laws

Ohio Probate and Will Laws

Ohio Inheritance Laws

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