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Probate Litigation Attorney

Probate Litigation Attorney Montana

Probate Litigation Attorney MontanaEach Montana probate litigation attorney at our firm understands how difficult it is when you lose a loved one. The grief and sorrow you are facing can be even more difficult to process when you discover that there are issues with their estate that could interfere with what you know were your loved one’s wishes. In these situations, it may be necessary to file legal action in order to protect the assets of the estate against other family members who dispute your loved one’s wishes or may have had a hand in initiating inappropriate changes to the estate plan. Whatever the situation, you can count on the Silverman Law Office, PLLC for legal assistance.

The Probate Process

Under Montana law, when a person dies, unless all of their assets were placed in a revocable living trust, their estate must be filed and resolved within two years of their death. There are exceptions if the executor of the estate – the person chosen to oversee this process – can show the court why it is necessary to extend probate beyond that two-year deadline. All estates that have wills must go through probate in order for the courts to determine the validity of the will. If the person died without a will or other estate planning tools, the estate also needs to be probated and the court will decide how the assets will be dispersed.

Contesting The Will

As a Montana probate litigation attorney can explain, it is during the probate process that family members or other recognized parties can file objections to the will if they have legally valid arguments to the way the will instructs that dispersion. This is referred to as contesting the will. Some of the most common reasons cited in will contestation actions include:

  • The will was not properly executed – Every state has its own law regarding how wills and trust should be executed. For example, every will needs to include a witness signature. If there are evidentiary indicators that laws were violated, the court could declare the will or trust invalid.
  • Lack of capacity – Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for family members or others to take advantage of individuals who are struggling with mental and cognizant issues, such as an elderly person who is in the early stages of dementia or other health issues. This manipulation can even include changing their current estate plans so the caretaker gets the bulk of the estate. If it can be proven that the decedent lacked the mental capacity to understand the changes they were making, the changes can be declared invalid.
  • Coercion or Duress – This is similar to situations where the decedent lacked mental capacity. The descendant could have been manipulated, pressured, or even blackmailed into changing their will or trust. In some cases, there may have even been the threat of or actual physical violence.
  • Fraud – Another common tactic used by people to illegally inherit the decedent’s estate is to forge their signature on a will or trust documents. If this fraud can be proven, the document will be declared invalid. There could even be criminal charges for the person who committed the fraud.

Probate Litigation FAQs

At Silverman Law Office, PLLC, we understand that navigating the legal complexities of probate can be challenging, especially when disputes arise. In this guide, our probate litigation attorneys address common questions related to probate litigation to help you better understand your rights and options in such situations.

Who Can Contest A Will Or Challenge The Administration Of An Estate?

Probate litigation often arises when individuals contest the validity of a will or raise concerns about the administration of an estate. Those who can contest a will typically include beneficiaries, heirs, or other interested parties who believe the will is invalid due to factors such as undue influence, lack of capacity, or fraud. Additionally, individuals may challenge the administration of an estate if they suspect misconduct or breaches of fiduciary duty by the executor or administrator.

What Are Some Examples Of Issues That May Lead To Probate Litigation?

Probate litigation can stem from various issues, including disputes over the distribution of assets, disagreements regarding the interpretation of the will or trust documents, allegations of elder abuse or financial exploitation, claims of creditor fraud, challenges to beneficiary designations, and conflicts among family members or beneficiaries. These are just a few issues that may cause this, but this is not a comprehensive list.

How Can I Protect My Interests During Probate Litigation?

To protect your interests during probate litigation, it’s essential to seek legal representation from experienced attorneys. Your attorney can assess your case, gather relevant evidence, develop a strategic legal approach, and advocate on your behalf in court. Additionally, maintaining clear and accurate documentation of all communication, transactions, and interactions related to the probate process can help support your case. They will also remain in constant, clear communication with you so that you understand every step of the process.

What Evidence Is Needed To Support A Probate Litigation Case?

The evidence needed to support a probate litigation case will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the dispute. However, common types of evidence may include the decedent’s medical records, financial documents, testamentary capacity assessments, witness testimony, correspondence, and any other relevant documentation that supports your claims or defenses. Your litigation attorney can help you identify and gather the necessary evidence to strengthen your case.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Fraud Or Misconduct In The Probate Process?

If you suspect fraud or misconduct in the probate process, it’s crucial to take prompt action to protect your interests and the integrity of the estate. You should consult with attorneys who can investigate your concerns, advise you on your legal options, and help you determine the best course of action. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may recommend filing a petition with the court, seeking an injunction, or pursuing other legal remedies to address the alleged misconduct. It is important to ensure that these matters are investigated so that the probate process is truthfully completed.

We hope this FAQ guide has provided valuable insights into probate litigation and how our team at Silverman Law Office, PLLC, can assist you in navigating these complex legal matters. If you’re facing probate litigation issues or have concerns about the administration of an estate, don’t hesitate to contact us for personalized legal guidance and representation.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced probate litigation attorneys who have been part of our team since our firm’s founding in 2012, and take the first step toward resolving your legal matter.

Contact Our Probate Law Firm

If your loved one has passed and you suspect issues with their estate, make sure you have a dedicated Montana probate litigation attorney advocating for you and protecting your best interest. Call Silverman Law Office, PLLC to schedule a confidential consultation and find out what legal options you may have.



Fill out the form below to get in touch with our legal team or call Bozeman office at (406) 582-8822 or our Helena office at (406) 449-4829 to talk to someone right away.

Silverman Law Office - Bozeman

504 W. Main St.

Bozeman, MT 59715

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Silverman Law Office - Helena

2620 Colonial Drive

Helena, MT 59601

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