Estate issues in Lombard often have an unfortunate tendency to cause familial strife. While family and friends may agree that they want to see the wishes of their loved one carried out, they may disagree about the way those wishes were expressed in a will or other documents and how those documents should be interpreted.

Assistance from a Lombard estate litigation lawyer could prove very valuable in these kinds of emotionally fraught cases. A skilled trusts and estates attorney with litigation experience could fight to protect your rights and your interests while working to resolve conflicts as efficiently as possible.

When Litigation Becomes Necessary

When a loved one dies, it is natural for family and friends to want to keep hold of property associated with cherished memories. Unfortunately, these desires can sometimes turn a disagreement over property into a bitter feud which cannot easily be settled without intervention from a neutral third party.

Estate litigation often involves complex procedures and the application of specific laws. Consequently, if it appears that someone might contest the terms of a will or estate in Lombard, it is generally wise to plan ahead and consult an estate litigation attorney for advice. In addition to providing counsel, a lawyer could also offer representation in private negotiations and the courtroom.

Potential Areas of Contention

Those who disagree with the terms of a will or other documents may assert several different reasons for contesting the terms of these agreements.

Validity of Documents

If someone challenges the legal soundness of a will or trust, an estate attorney could examine the documents to determine whether they were correctly executed to meet legal requirements and then establish these findings in court. Likewise, if forgery or other fraudulent conduct is alleged, an estate litigation attorney in Lombard could investigate and provide proof. For example, someone may contend that there was a conflict of interest with those who witnessed a will or that terms were modified without knowledge of the deceased.

Mental Capacity and Influence

Many contested will cases in Lombard hinge on issues regarding the state of mind of the deceased person at the time his or her will or trust documents were executed. Specifically, an involved party may allege that the estate owner lacked full mental capacity at the time he or she signed his or her will.

In certain cases, a family member may assert that one of the beneficiaries coerced the deceased person to include certain terms in a will or trust, or otherwise exercised undue influence. Through the use of medical records, witness testimony, and other evidence, an estate litigation lawyer in Lombard could establish whether such allegations are valid.

Interpretation of Documents

Another common area of contention concerning wills and trusts is the interpretation of terms. For example, the description of certain property may be unclear, or instructions regarding the distribution of wealth may be challenged. Even the identity of beneficiaries could be an issue.

A seasoned legal representative could assist in ascertaining the deceased person’s intent. Then, he or she could work to demonstrate how the documents should be interpreted to fulfill the last wishes of the deceased by using evidence of that intent.

Contact a Lombard Estate Litigation Attorney

In addition to the areas outlined above, an accomplished Lombard estate litigation lawyer could assist with various other legal matters involving estates. If a breach of fiduciary duty is suspected on the part of the executor or others involved with the estate, an estate attorney could investigate, help bring the truth to light, and provide proof of wrongdoing to enable the judicial process to right the wrongs of the case.

If you believe estate proceedings are tainted in some way, or if someone in your family is challenging terms of a will, trust, or other estate documents, it may be wise to consult a well-practiced estate litigation attorney to find out how to protect your rights and your interests. To schedule a consultation, call now.