Experienced Allies Throughout A Probate Dispute
Estate administration and probate can become contentious processes if the parties involved encounter a conflict. At Schumacher Law Group, our experienced attorneys have handled a variety of probate disputes in Oklahoma firsthand. They can represent you in a probate dispute, and they always strive to cost-effectively resolve the issue and arrive at a positive solution.
Our lawyers regularly handle a broad variety of contested probate issues, such as:
- Undue influence
- Breach of fiduciary duties
- Lack of testamentary capacity
- Lack of testamentary formalities
- Duress or menace
- Revocation of the will
- Two existing wills
- The suing of an administrator of a trust
Tracy Schumacher, our founding attorney, has considerable litigation experience from her time as a prosecutor. She and our team of will contest lawyers are prepared to advocate for you at trial if necessary.
What Happens If Someone Contests A Will?
An interested party – or, a beneficiary, legal heir or creditor – can contest a will for up to three months from the date that the probate court has admitted it. To begin, you file a petition with the district court to which the will was submitted. Then, the parties involved in the dispute may sit down with their probate dispute attorneys in an attempt to negotiate a resolution privately. If they do not reach a compromise, then the dispute will proceed to court before a judge. The judge will either grant the will contest or deny it.
What Should I Know About Breach Of Fiduciary Duty?
One of the most common issues that prompts a probate dispute is breach of fiduciary duty. This is an immensely complicated matter that often has emotional implications for everyone, since a beloved relative is sometimes the fiduciary. In this segment, you will find answers to some of the questions you might have about breach of fiduciary duty.
What is breach of fiduciary duty?
A fiduciary is someone who has a duty to act in the best interests of another party. Common examples include an executor, trustee or personal administrator who is acting for the deceased person. If the fiduciary fails to act in the other person’s best interests, they are said to be in breach of their duty.
What are some examples of breach of fiduciary duty?
Some of the most common breach of fiduciary duty examples include:
- Ignoring the decedent’s instructions
- Mismanaging finances and assets
- Hiding or selling assets
- Taking a large fee for themselves
- Missing legal deadlines
- Breaking state probate laws
Any situation where the fiduciary acts in their own best interests instead of the decedent’s is an instance of breach of duty.
How do you prove breach of fiduciary duty?
To have a successful case of breach of fiduciary duty, you must demonstrate that the person in question:
- Misappropriated funds
- Concealed funds
- Lied about certain facts
- Withheld information
- Exercised undue influence
- Failed to uphold their responsibilities some other way
Usually, you must gather extensive financial records, bank statements, communication records and other documents. It is not always easy to bring a successful claim against a fiduciary. Fortunately, we have a proven record of doing so, even when the fiduciary has tried to conceal evidence.
How do I sue a trustee?
If you believe a trustee breached their duty as a fiduciary, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit against them. This could result in the removal of the trustee, the reversal of some of the trustee’s acts, the recovery of misappropriated assets and other consequences. To do so, you should contact a probate lawyer who can assist you in filing the action in the proper jurisdiction.
Talk To A Contested Wills Lawyer Today
Discuss whether you have the grounds to contest a will, or get help from our attorneys to defend your rights if you face a will contest. Contact Schumacher Law Group today to get counsel from one of our probate dispute lawyers. To set up your consultation, please call 405-389-2260 or send us an email.