After a loved one passes away, everyone’s emotions are running high. Unfortunately, this sets the scene for arguments, disagreements, and disputes. When these disputes involve your family member’s estate, your case could end up in a Lower Merion, PA, court. Before it gets to that point, reach out to an estate litigation lawyer in Lower Merion, PA, from Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys. We may be able to settle your dispute, or we can represent you in court. Reach our Philadelphia-area estate litigation team by calling (856) 857-6007 today.
You May Be Able to Avoid Lower Merion, PA Estate Litigation
Our estate litigation attorneys believe that estate litigation should be a last resort in most cases. When estate disputes end up in the courtroom, it can irreparably hurt the relationships between family members and fracture the family for generations to come. In many cases, the assets in question are not worth the emotional price you pay.
Depending on the facts of your case, we may recommend trying alternative dispute resolution first. Our estate litigation team has training that may be able to help you reach an agreement. We can employ proven mediation techniques and other tactics that may help you avoid going to court.
Of course, sometimes litigation is the best option. If we need to take your case in front of a judge, we will not hesitate to do so. We will represent you during the process and fight for your best interests.
Let Us Help You Fight to Reach Your Goals
Generally, we find that people have one of two goals when they reach out to us about an estate dispute:
- They want to protect their inheritance; or
- They want to ensure their loved one’s will and last wishes get upheld.
In many cases, these two goals are one and the same. In others, there are questions about what the deceased wanted and whether their will — if there was one — was valid. At Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys, we can build a strong case on your behalf. When you trust us with your case, we will:
- Explain your legal options based on the facts of your case and your goals;
- Review the will and any other estate documents to determine validity;
- Protect your loved one’s assets and fight to distribute them according to a valid will;
- Fight for the inheritance you deserve;
- Use alternative dispute resolution when possible to avoid costly litigation; and
- Represent your best interests during any necessary estate litigation.
We strive to settle every estate dispute as quickly as possible, avoiding court and getting the best possible outcome for our client. In some cases, though, litigation is impossible to avoid. When this happens, your estate litigation lawyer in Lower Merion, PA, will not hesitate to take aggressive action on your behalf.
There Are a Few Common Issues at the Heart of Many Estate Disputes
While many things can cause a disagreement over a loved one’s estate, there are a few that lead to estate litigation more than others. By understanding the issues and knowing when to take action, you may be better prepared to navigate a dispute or prepare for litigation. The primary issues we deal with in estate litigation include:
The Deceased Did Not Have a Will or Estate Plan
When someone dies without a will or estate plan outlining what they want to happen to their assets, it often becomes an “every man for himself” situation. Every party involved believes they know what their loved one wanted, and it can be difficult to convince them otherwise. These are the most common estate litigation cases and also the most difficult. If you cannot reach an agreement, a judge may determine how to split the assets.
Lack of Capacity
Lack of capacity is one way people try to prove that a will is not valid. When there is a true lack of capacity, it means the person created and signed their estate planning documents when they had a health condition or were on medication that prevented them from understanding what they were doing. We can help you file this type of claim or defend against it.
Undue influence claims may work in tandem with lack of capacity. Undue influence can result from someone else telling your loved one what to do when they created and signed their estate planning documents. Your loved one would have to be incapacitated or have other reasons as to why they could not refuse. We can help you pursue an undue influence claim or fight one.
Estate Litigation Often Involves Questioning the Named Estate Administrator
Cases wherein there is a valid will but a dispute arises nevertheless often center on the estate administrator or executor of the will. Your estate litigation lawyer in Lower Merion, PA, can help you raise this kind of challenge or defend against it.
If You Are Administering the Estate
If family members or friends of your loved one are raising questions about your ability to handle the duties, we can help. Not only can we go to work to protect your reputation from their claims, but we can handle the estate administration process on your behalf and safeguard against future disputes.
If You Believe There Is a Problem with the Current Estate Administrator
Sometimes, a named estate administrator does not have the ability or ethics to get the job done. We can step in and handle the process if they allow, or we can challenge their handling of the estate and try to get a new administrator.
Discuss Your Estate Dispute with an Estate Litigation Lawyer
If you have any questions about or are in dispute over your loved one’s Lower Merion, PA, estate, or if you need representation for estate litigation, the team from Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys can help.
We can meet with you to discuss your case in Lower Merion, PA, or at our Philadelphia office. We also have offices in Haddonfield, Moorestown, Linwood, and Ewing, NJ. We can help you navigate any estate dispute in the Philadelphia area or Eastern New Jersey. To get started, reach out to our team today. Call (856) 857-6007 to learn more.