Common Causes of Probate Litigation 

October 06, 2020  

In most cases, the probate process is fairly straightforward after the loss of a loved one in Ohio. An estate must be probated when its value exceeds a certain minimum and when specific types of assets are included in the estate. However, a family member, heir, or beneficiary may initiate probate litigation if they disagree with the handling or distribution of the estate. At Kryszak & Associates, our team of highly qualified legal professionals is here to help. If you believe that the probate of an estate is flawed or if you are defending against claims as an executor or heir, our attorneys can ensure that your rights to your inheritance are protected. Call or contact the office today to schedule a free consultation of your case. 

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims

One common cause of probate litigation involves claims that there was a breach of fiduciary duty. An executor has a fiduciary duty after the passing of a loved one to carry out their final wishes for the estate. If the heirs or beneficiaries of certain assets believe that the executor is negligently or willfully breaching their duties in that role, they may seek to remove the executor and replace them with another person.

Contesting the Will

A will contest is another common cause of probate litigation in Ohio. This may happen for a number of reasons, including that a person is cut out of a will, someone inherits more than expected in a will, or because someone was expecting to get more from the estate. Common reasons as to why the will should not be honored include procedural errors in the will, undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, and forgery. A will contest can either result in the will being upheld in court, rejected for a prior version, or if no prior version exists then the estate may be distributed according to Ohio’s intestacy laws.  

Defending Against Creditor Claims

Before an heir is given their distribution of the estate, creditors must be paid for any outstanding debts that the deceased had prior to their death. Creditors may include private parties or the state if the deceased was on Medicaid. However, the executor and heirs also have the right to make creditors prove what they are owed, which can lead to probate litigation. 

Conflicting Probate Laws

Finally, probate litigation may arise if the estate has assets in multiple states. Every state has its own probate laws, and sometimes they conflict with each other. If the decedent had the majority of their estate in Ohio but also kept a vacation home in Florida, the probate process can get complicated quickly. It is important that when situations like these arise that you have an experienced probate litigation attorney by your side to protect your legal interests. 

Talk to Our Office Now

If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Ohio probate attorney about your case, call the office or contact us at Kryszak & Associates to schedule a free consultation of your probate litigation matter with one of our experienced attorneys today.