The loss of a loved one is a difficult, even traumatic experience. Unfortunately, serious conflicts often arise. Sometimes those conflicts are minor, and are magnified by the stress everyone is experiencing. In other cases, significant issues must be resolved, even if that means litigation.
Some of the issues most likely to lead to estate litigation in New Jersey include:
- Will contests, which typically arise when an interested party disputes the validity of the will or asserts that the deceased was subject to undue influence in making the will.
- Guardianship disputes, which may involve selection of a guardian for minor children when the deceased did not leave instructions, or a challenge to the appointment if an interested party believes the designated guardian to be unqualified.
- Estate administration litigation, which arises when the executor or administrator is accused of not fulfilling his or her responsibilities. This may mean breach of the fiduciary duty to manage the estate responsibly for the benefit of the heirs, or may stem from failure to provide a thorough and accurate accounting.
- Trust administration litigation, which is similar to estate administration litigation, in that it arises when the trustee breaches his or her duties. Breaches may range from misappropriation of trust assets to mismanagement based in carelessness or lack of qualification to fulfill the role.
No one wants to enter into estate litigation unnecessarily. Litigation can be costly and stressful and may consume estate assets. Careful planning on the part of the decedent can minimize the risk of conflict in the wake of his or her death. However, when the wishes of your loved one are being subverted or there are significant interests at risk, litigation may be your best option for protecting the estate and those the deceased hoped to provide for after his death.
When you’ve determined that estate litigation is necessary to carry out your loved one’s wishes and protect the family’s interests, or you’re faced with estate litigation that threatens your ability to fulfill those wishes, the experienced attorneys at Milvidskiy Law Firm LLC can help.