Estate disputes are often a messy, complicated, and tedious process to go through. After all, it involves fighting for your right to an asset or property left behind by a family member. Oftentimes, it involves getting into debates with people you hold dearly, or if you’re unfortunate, second families of the deceased who you are not close to. Estate disputes are not limited to large, wealthy families with multiple assets and properties. It can sometimes happen to regular folks who become beneficiaries of a family home, a property, or any asset left behind by the deceased. Challenging a will need not be a tedious process, however, as long as you’re guided by estate lawyers who provide sound advice and smart strategies on how to fight for your case.
7 Stages of an Estate Dispute
The estate dispute process commonly goes through five steps, during which an estate lawyer will guide and advise you on the best strategies moving forward.
During this stage, estate lawyers work with you to appraise your circumstances and determine if your claim is valid. This period will require a lot of inquiry to ensure the validity of your claim. The discovery stage will often bring to light the good, the bad, and the ugly, so prepare to open up about some fraught topics.
Once an estate lawyer determines the validity of your claim, an estate dispute will be prepared and filed in probate court. The initial pleading outlines your concerns and the law that entitles you to a resolution involving a settlement or other remedies. This is also the stage in which all interested parties receive the Notice of Hearing.
This stage requires evidence gathering for both parties, who will most likely be by now represented by an estate lawyer who specialises in such cases. Estate lawyers who specialise in estate disputes are in a better position to look for evidence to support your allegations.
It is in this stage that both parties agree to reach a settlement before attempting to go to trial. It is a critical stage that may result in an alternative resolution that is less costly and may take less time.
5. Trial preparation.
If the result of the mediation is a decision to go to court, then both parties, along with their estate lawyers, go through a trial preparation, in which your attorney may seek witness testimonies to help create a logical, cohesive narrative for your case. Witness interviews, supporting documents, and additional evidence will be required in this stage. As soon as this is done.
The trial period may take a lengthy amount of time, from weeks to months. It is in this stage that your case will be presented by your estate lawyer to the judge and jury. Both sides will get the chance to do so and after a fixed period of time, a decision will be issued by the judge.
Not all estate disputes end happily and for some, they end up on the losing side of the battle. For some parties, an appeal can be made especially when the judge made a mistake of law. There are only a few situations in which an appeal can be made, so make sure your case falls under those outlined situations.
Finally, a settlement is made when both parties agree to a mutual decision. Throughout these stages, an estate lawyer will be able to properly guide you on the right decisions to make and the best strategies to pursue moving forward.
If you’re looking for assistance in estate disputes in Melbourne, go for an expert team of estate lawyers who strive to resolve the matter as efficiently as possible. In Melbourne, Hentys Lawyers specialise in estate disputes, thanks to over 40 years of expertise, experience, and sensitivity to issues surrounding these types of cases. At Hentys Lawyers, estate lawyers are guided by a simple four-step process:
Review the claim.
Hentys Lawyers can easily determine whether your claim is valid by just a phone call.
Assess the case.
Estate lawyers at Hentys Lawyers estimate the size of your valid claim and present a “No Win No Fee” plan, which benefits you in the long run.
Estate lawyers will diligently guide you through every step of the estate dispute process, ensuring that you are equipped with the right information to make the right decisions.
Settle your case.
At Hentys Lawyers, the goal is always to reach the settlement that you are rightfully entitled to. That’s why these estate lawyers offer their expertise to provide sound advice in every step of the way.
For more information on the benefits of hiring an estate lawyer to help resolve your dispute, visit Hentys Lawyers today.
Don’t forget to have a read of our other blog; Time Limit for Contesting a Will in Victoria