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Protecting Beneficiaries During Probate Disputes in Texas

 Posted on November 17, 2023 in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio estate planning lawyerThe probate process can become contentious when a will is contested, or beneficiaries disagree over estate matters. As a named beneficiary, you want to ensure you receive your proper inheritance. A Texas attorney can help you review and properly create your estate plans.

Understanding Will Contests

A will contest happens when someone challenges the will's validity and tries to disqualify it. This often occurs when heirs believe they did not receive a fair share under the will. It is also common when questions arise about the testator's mental capacity or potential undue influence.

If the will is deemed invalid, the estate is handled as if the decedent died intestate (without a will). Texas intestacy laws dictate who inherits, which may differ from the contested will.

Responding to Suspicious Executor Actions

Executors have a fiduciary duty to manage the estate properly for beneficiaries. If you suspect mismanagement, improper distributions, missed deadlines, or self-dealing, an attorney can file paperwork to have the executor replaced for cause. This prevents further losses and ensures the executor's actions are reviewed. You have remedies if monies are misappropriated.

Settling Disagreements with Other Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries may clash over estate matters like asset distribution, taxes, expenses, and other decisions. A probate litigation lawyer can negotiate settlements that avoid costly litigation. They can also take the case to court to entitle you to your rightful inheritance.

Paying Probate Attorney Fees

Work with your lawyer to have their legal fees paid directly by the estate. As a beneficiary, you have the right to have estate funds used reasonably to protect your inheritance. This avoids the fees coming out of your distribution.

Handling Out-of-State Probate

If the probate occurs outside Texas, your attorney can retain counsel in that state to represent your interests while providing oversight and keeping you informed. This eliminates hassles during an already stressful time.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Estate Planning Attorney

Protecting beneficiaries from questionable actions by executors, other heirs, or out-of-state issues during probate disputes takes advanced legal experience. A knowledgeable Bexar County, TX probate lawyer has the skills to preserve your legacy. Let them handle the complexities and fight to secure your entire inheritance. Call Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law at 210-535-0870 for a free consultation to make sure your estate plans are documented correctly or if your family is having an issue with an estate. Contact our office today so that we can get working for you.

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