People facing unwanted probate litigation often want to know how they can end the process as early as possible. Likewise, people who are suing need to understand these concerns within probate litigation law so they can keep their cases on track.
Like many other legal professionals, probate litigation attorneys will tell you the possibility a case might meet an early end depends on several factors. Here are three that litigants should know before their cases move ahead.
Whenever someone brings a legal case, one of the first things they have to prove is that they have the standing to do so. This can be challenging when it comes to the probate process because American law doesn't suppose anyone has a claim on an estate unless otherwise stated in a binding will.
Unsurprisingly, that means the easiest way for a litigant to prove they have standing is to show that they're a named beneficiary in the most recent documents governing the estate. However, it also means an unnamed party, even if they're a biological child of the decedent, can have a difficult time proving standing if there is a will and their name isn't in it. For probate litigation attorneys trying to end cases, they will hammer this point whenever possible.
You generally don't want to take up the court's time if you haven't tried to exercise all possible options. For example, if an estate's executor is still getting things together within the first few months, a judge usually doesn't want to see lawsuits inbound. This sort of case typically isn't considered ripe because it hasn't had time to get to the point where anyone has anything valid to complain about.
Probate litigation attorneys trying to stop such cases may ask the court to dismiss lawsuits that aren't ready. However, note that a judge probably won't permanently end the suit unless they think the litigant is very wrong. More likely, the judge will dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning the litigant can return at a later date if problems persist.
Lack of Disagreement
The courts don't want to see streams of probate litigation lawyers going through their doors every day. To avoid this problem, the judge will want evidence that there's a relevant disagreement over the material disposition of the estate or a matter of the laws governing it. A litigant must state what the problem is and why the court should spend its time resolving the disagreement. If they can't meet this burden, most probate litigation attorneys will move that the court dismiss the suit.
Reach out to a firm like Anthony L. Barney, Ltd. Attorneys & Counselors At Law to learn more.