Losing a loved one can be a devastating experience for any person, and coping with that loss can be physically, emotionally and even financially overwhelming. You may have a lot of unanswered questions and troubling issues that are left unresolved.
During such a difficult time, your legal options may not necessarily be your top priority. However, you might find that resolving the disputes, questions and concerns that arise in the aftermath of a person’s death can only be done through the legal system, and litigation may be unavoidable.
For example, if the loved one who passed away did not leave an executable will, you can wind up battling siblings, parents, spouses and other family members over what should be done with the decedent’s property and assets. Who will get the house? What about a much-loved piece of jewelry that has been in the family for years? How will you decide who will take care of a pet that has been left behind?
Even if there is a will in place, it could have gaps or questionable terms that demand further clarification. Did the decedent intend to leave someone out of a will? When was the document last updated? Could it have been created or changed as a result of coercion or at a time when the person was unfit to make such decisions?
These can all be grounds for contesting a will, so it can be wise to be prepared for this process.
You may be surprised at your reaction or the reactions of those around you when it comes to the administration of a person’s estate, as it may become more contentious or emotional than you expected. This is not uncommon, but it should also not be taken lightly. Having legal counsel by your side to guide you through this complex process can help you get the answers you need to begin moving forward.