Estate News --- Observations of a Trust and Probate Attorney

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Increasing Estate Litigation

Recently I was asked the following question. Is the economy causing more contested probate cases?  After thinking about the question for over a day I think it is but not in the way the questioner was thinking.  The increase is not directly connected.

There will be more contests because people are NOT doing their planning.  As a result the family will be faces with uncertainty at a time when they are most vulnerable to conflict.  Uncertainty because there is no direction and guidance from the decedent is a situation that we all recognize as a breeding ground for conflict.

Add to the uncertainty of no planning is the changed family structure.  Families are no longer just mom, dad and the three kids.  Today it is yours, mine and ours and there is no connection after parent is gone.  The relationships become strained and conflict erupts.  The result is another case of probate litigation.

The growth area of litigation is Trust Litigation.  This is because the Trust is not correct and the Trustees do not do their jobs.


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