After the loss of a loved one, few surviving family members have the energy to focus on legal issues or potential estate complications. However, lack of action or a misunderstanding of the probate process can result in probate litigation and other legal complications for grieving families. Michigan families can minimize conflict and head off any potential problems with professional assistance, a clear understanding of the types of probate and they may mean as far as the distribution of the decedent's assets is concerned.
A valid will is an essential part of any estate plan since it outlines how an individual's assets are to be distributed upon death. Even if it is executed in accordance with all applicable Michigan laws, that does not mean that it will not be challenged when the time comes. The dynamics of every family are unique, but there are still common threads behind every will challenge.
When the death of a loved one has occurred, a complex legal process may be just beginning. During this emotional transition, families should know the benefits of legal support so as to be prepared for any probate litigation situation or any other legal services that may be needed. Michigan families can ensure timely and fair handling of an estate and also support when individual issues necessitate specific services.
Even when there is a legal will in place and a family member has taken adequate estate planning steps, the family left behind may not fully agree with that will or have specific reasons to dispute the estate plan. When a Michigan family believes there is reason to dispute the distribution of assets, that family may pursue a will challenge. While each family is unique, there are a few common reasons families may choose to contest a will, and a few specific areas of a will may be subject to a will challenge.
Despite the best intentions of a family member, there are many circumstances that can lead to family strife or legal disputes after a loved one has died. While every Michigan family may be vastly different, there are common reasons or mistakes that may lead a family to deal with a will challenge after a loved one has passed away. The loss of a loved one may create an emotionally charged situation, and adding legal complications to the mix may be a situation most families may want to avoid altogether by working ahead of time to avoid a will challenge.
Once a loved one passes, the ensuing process of probate can either be smooth or it can be contentious and lead to family strife. With the proper guidance and legal assistance, the probate process does not have to become a probate litigation situation for grieving Michigan families. Legal assistance can help with all areas of probate and can ensure that minor details are taken care of so families can move forward.
The estate of an American cooper heiress has settled more than two years after her death. The woman died in May 2011 and left behind a $300 million fortune. The woman was not married when she passed and had no children. However, a will contest arose after her family - made up of 20 grandnieces and grandnephews - challenged her will.
Following the death of a loved one, families are often eager to make all the final arrangements and settle that person's estate. This can be a long process that includes finding all the estate planning documents including the will, identifying all the heirs to the estate, dealing with life insurance payments, finding and paying all the estate's creditors and many other issues.
Many people prepare wills and trusts during their lifetime to help ensure their wishes are adhered to following their death. Michigan courts generally try to uphold the wishes of a decedent outlined in valid trust documents and last wills and testaments.
A years-long probate litigation case was settled in Kalamazoo recently, resulting in a $23 million award for the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.