What is Florida Inheritance Litigation?
Any legal dispute that arises over a Decedent’s assets could be classified as inheritance litigation. There are many reasons that disputes arise during probate administration. When a dispute does arise, and there’s a chance for inheritance litigation in Florida, you need to contact an experienced Pompano Beach estate & trust litigation attorney.
Some people mistakenly assume that estate planning attorneys and estate litigation attorneys focus on the same case types. Estate planning attorneys focus on the planning stages, ensuring you have a will, trust, power of attorney designation, etc. They may also handle probate administration and overseeing the process to ensure it runs smoothly.
Examples of Inheritance Litigation Disputes
Estate litigation is quite different from estate planning and probate administration. At Mark R. Manceri, P.A., we focus on estate litigation in Florida. This specialty area requires we handle arguments surrounding a variety of aspects related to the decedent’s probate, trust, etc. Examples of inheritance litigation disputes can include, but are not limited to:
- Contesting the Decedent’s Will
- Challenging the validity of the Decedent’s Trust
- Allegations of lack of capacity, undue influence, or lack of testamentary formalities in the execution of the Will or Trust
- Breach of fiduciary duty by the Trustee or Personal Representative
- Claims against the Decedent’s Estate
- Petitioning to return assets to a Decedent’s Estate
- Modifying a Trust
- Challenging beneficiary designations
- Determining who the rightful beneficiaries are in an Estate
Determining whether or not to pursue a claim related to an inheritance dispute can be tricky. First, you need to decide whether or not you have legal standing to bring a claim. In most cases, if you are personally affected by any outcome of the litigation, you have standing. However, inheritance litigation claims are not easy to pursue. You need an attorney with the knowledge and experience to help.
Reasons for Inheritance Litigation
In some cases, we can anticipate inheritance litigation before it happens. Some certain signs and situations typically result in litigation once a family member passes away. Examples include:
- Inter-family dynamics: Some families do not get along, or there is the one “bad apple” that the rest of the family doesn’t speak to anymore. When a person sets up their estate plan, one or more members are likely to see it as inequitable. Even when a Decedent split everything in a reasonably equitable manner, bad family dynamics can still lead to litigation.
- Unnatural Estate Plans: When a Decedent tries to disinherit one person, or the entire estate is left to one person outside of the family, it’s almost guaranteed there will be litigation. Sometimes an estate plan can change unbeknownst to the family as a new caretaker or someone else coerced the decedent to sign everything over to them upon death.
- Questionable Appointment of Trustee or Executor: Sometimes, a Personal Representative or trustee was named many years ago. Situations and people can change over time. If there are concerns about whether the named person is cut out to handle the duties, it could give rise to litigation. Trustees and Personal Representatives are held to high stands and have a fiduciary duty. If they break their duty to the beneficiaries or heirs, litigation will ensue.
Contact a Florida Estate Litigation Attorney
If you need assistance with a dispute related to a family member’s will or trust, let an experienced Pompano Beach estate litigation attorney assist you. Contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.
How to Avoid Estate Taxes in Florida
Many people opt to retire in Florida, mostly due to its desirable location and weather. However, savvy retirees often choose Florida, not for its beautiful sun and beaches, but because it’s one of only a few states that don’t levy a state estate tax. That doesn’t mean an estate automatically avoids the federal estate tax, though. And, that can be a hefty amount depending on the estate’s value.
A potential added benefit of looking into ways to reduce or eliminate estate tax is that it may also help reduce arguments during probate. When disputes arise during probate administration, you need a skilled Pompano Beach estate and probate litigation attorney.