Inheritance Dispute

Inheritance Dispute

What is an Inheritance Dispute?

            An inheritance dispute is litigation that challenges a will for a variety of reasons. Some ways of challenging a will are by contesting the will, but this is not the same as disputing an inheritance. For details on contesting the will you can read my post titled “Will Contests”. Other claims you might have to dispute an inheritance, or lack of inheritance, are:

  1. Construction or interpretation of the will
  2. Whether the provision in the will is against public policy
  3. Whether the property in the will was owned by the deceased
  4. Whether someone also has title to the property such as a joint bank account or jointly held land.
  5. If you are a creditor and wish to be paid from the deceased’s estate
  6. Disputes over no-contest clauses
  7. A contract to make or not make a will was not honored

Do I Have a Claim?

            People who might have claims include those who are beneficiaries of the will, heirs of the deceased, or creditors of the deceased. For instance, in California there are certain requirements to disinherit children or a spouse. If these requirements are not met, then a child or spouse may be eligible to receive a portion of the estate despite being omitted from the will. Additionally, inheritance disputes are focused on the language of the will and whether the property can be distributed according to the will; they are not focused on the validity of the will.

            The best way to determine if you have a claim is to look at who are the beneficiaries and what property is distributed. For example, if your parent gifted their car to you but the will provides that the car goes to a different beneficiary, you may have a claim to the car. Obviously, the best scenario is if you can come to an agreement with that beneficiary which would then only require court approval. However, in the unfortunate event where litigation is needed, I am here to help you. We can discuss the specifics of your case and determine the best path forward. Even if you think it is unlikely you have a claim, the best option is to contact me at (310) 598-7191 or info@bridge.law and I can help you whether you need to defend or attack the will in probate court. 

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