Are You Entering Probate Litigation?

Under New Hampshire law, anyone age 18 or older has the right to write a will for the purpose of disposing their property as long as they are of sound mind. When someone dies with a will, even when there are no assets, the person named in the will as the executor or the person holding the will must file the will, along with any codicils (which are additions or amendments), along with a certified death certificate with the probate court within 30 days of the decedent's death. Even in cases where there was no will, the death certificate will still need to be filed with the court.

Once the will has been admitted to the probate court, the court will proceed with verifying whether or not the will is valid, and once the will is proven, an executor will be named to administrate the estate. This person will be responsible for paying off the decedent's debts, filing taxes, managing estate assets, and distributing all remaining property to the beneficiaries named in the will.

It is not uncommon for disputes to arise among beneficiaries, especially when the will-maker or the decedent has not kept their estate plan current and up-to-date. It's extremely important for people to update their estate plans every two or three years, especially when there is a major life event such as a death, birth, divorce or remarriage in the family. For example, if someone fails to update their will after a divorce and they remarry, certain assets can go to one's ex-husband or wife, and this can certainly lead to full blown litigation.

Probate litigation is a common occurrence and is another term for a "will contest." A will contest is merely a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, and it is based on the contention that the will did not reflect the actual intention of the deceased. Will contests are often hinged on the following claims:

  • The deceased lacked testamentary capacity
  • The deceased was operating under insane delusion
  • The deceased was operating under undue influence
  • The will was executed fraudulently

Typically those who engage in probate litigation and contest a will come in two classes of individuals: those who are named in the will such as beneficiaries, and those who stand to inherit from the deceased if the will is proved to be invalid. In either situation, those who have a strong belief that something is wrong with how an estate is being managed by the executor, or those who have an issue with the will document itself should definitely take their matter up with a qualified Concord probate litigation attorney from Hebert & Dolder, PLLC.

With over 20 years of experience, our legal team is here to give you the answers you're looking for and provide you with the legal representation that you need. We understand where you are coming from and how this may be a very sensitive, yet important matter that needs resolving. Don't hesitate to give us a call at (603) 259-7061 to discuss the matter with an experienced member of our legal team.

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Hebert & Dolder PLLC - Concord Business Lawyer

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95 N State St,
Concord, NH 03301.
Phone: (603) 259-7061.
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