Common Types of Disputes in Washington DC Probate

The probate process can be contentious, and there are a variety of disputes that individuals could bring forward to invalidate or override important inheritance documents. The process requires petitioners opening probate to notify all potentially interested parties, which gives those individuals the opportunity to argue for their legal rights concerning the estate.

If you are dealing with these circumstances, you should contact a trusts and estates attorney right away. An attorney familiar with common types of disputes in Washington DC probate could help guide you through the process and protect your rights along the way.

Challenges to Wills in Washington DC

Perhaps the most common example of a probate dispute in Washington DC is a challenge to a will’s authenticity. These complaints hinge on the idea that a will is invalid due to fraud or improper influence over the testator, or that the testator lacked the mental capacity to understand their actions.

Filing Within an Appropriate Timeframe

According to the Code of the District of Columbia § 20-305, any person may file a complaint with the court that alleges that a will is invalid. However, these individuals must file the complaint no more than six months after the publication of the notice of appointment of a personal representative.

The motivations for contesting a will can vary. For example, a party may believe an earlier will is the only authentic version. In other situations, they may argue that all wills are invalid, and that property should transfer according to DC’s intestacy statute. Those searching for a course of action after another person contested a will through a complaint should call a local attorney to help them navigate their next steps.

Disputes Concerning the Role of the Personal Representative

Personal representatives of a decedent’s estate have both substantial powers and significant responsibilities. In general, a personal representative has a duty to fulfill their obligation to the estate. This includes the proper payment of debts and the efficient distribution of assets.

As a result, creditors may make a claim against an estate alleging they did not receive the full payment of debt. Additionally, legatees may claim that the representative did not properly handle the assets or made an improper distribution. Here, the court may remove an individual as a representative or the aggrieved parties may hold the representative personally liable.

Call a Washington DC Attorney to Discuss Probate Process Disputes

It is not uncommon for a person’s heirs to argue with other legatees over their property rights during the administration of an estate. At the most basic level, parties may disagree over what form of probate is appropriate, or there may be a disagreement concerning the role of the personal representative. However, the disputes can run deeper than this.

If you are running into disputes with legatees or other heirs, you should reach out to someone qualified to help you through the process. Call an experienced attorney today to learn more about the common types of disputes in Washington DC probate today.