A person’s estate is the total of all of their assets minus their debts. Their property is either real property, as in real estate, or personal property, which is everything else. When someone dies, estate litigation is concerned with determining and executing the true intentions of the decedent in regards to the distribution of those assets.
At Property Law Firm we are experts in helping people resolve conflicts over questions of estate litigation and are also sensitive to the issues that commonly arise when family members are involved in disputes. These disputes often involve the executor of an estate and the possible beneficiaries of the will of the person who died.
Some primary areas of dispute in estate law include:
- Whether a will is genuine
- Who is the rightful executor of the will
- Removing the executor because he or she has violated fiduciary responsibilities
- Disagreements between the executor and the potential beneficiaries
A common dispute in estate law regards the authenticity of a will. Some questions that arise in this area are:
- What was the actual intent of the decedent
- Was a will written under pressure or inappropriate influence
- Was a will written at all
Because the person who died is no longer able to express their wishes, an attorney can help to mediate disputed issues among the heirs, descendants and families of that person. If such mediation does not succeed in providing satisfactory resolutions, we can go to the courts to determine what is fair.
We can help in areas of dispute among heirs and descendents that include:
- Fiduciary litigation. This area of estate law concerns the legal monetary obligations of the person who is responsible for distributing or managing assets of someone else. An executor of a will, an administrator of an estate, or trustees and guardians are examples of persons with fiduciary responsibilities.
- Beneficiary rights. The beneficiary is the person who benefits from someone else’s act. Beneficiaries can include someone for whom property is held in trust, the recipient of the proceeds of an insurance policy, or a person named in a will to receive property.
- Fraudulent asset transfers. This might occur, for example, when the executor of an estate wrongfully transfers assets to him or herself or another person, rather than to the person named in the will.
- Contests of wills
- Contests of trusts
- Contests of accounting
- Spousal contests
If you are involved in a dispute over inheritance, contact Property Law Firm. Our attorneys are available to handle cases on behalf of individuals and families throughout Kansas.