Probate Process in Virginia and Estate Litigation
Probate is the legal process through which any person’s assets are distributed after their death. In Virginia, the probate process might involve certain steps:
- Filing a petition with the appropriate Virginia court to open probate and appoint an executor or administrator to manage the estate.
- Next, providing the notice to beneficiaries and heirs, eventually, to creditors, that probate has been opened.
- Inventory the decedent’s assets and property and determine their value.
- Confirming and Paying any outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate.
- Allocating the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will or, if there is no will, according to Virginia’s intestacy laws.
Need to know how to start?
Having a skilled lawyer by your side can give you valuable perceptions of the process. Understanding the process can support you in facing the case with much more confidence. Please speak to our Estate lawyers at The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. We will clarify the process to you and prepare you for the trial. You should never leave out crucial aspects of your Estate planning case and always keep your lawyer updated with all expansions in the case.
Can the Probate process impact estate litigation?
The probate process can impact estate litigation in several ways. Here are a few examples:
- Disputes over the validity of a will: During probate, beneficiaries and heirs may contest the validity of a will. This can delay the probate process and potentially result in a court decision that changes the distribution of assets.
- Disputes over the appointment of an executor or administrator: If multiple potential executors or administrators exist, disputes may arise over who should be appointed to manage the estate.
- Disputes over the distribution of assets: Beneficiaries and heirs may disagree over the distribution of assets during probate, especially if there are ambiguities in the will or if some beneficiaries feel they are entitled to a larger share of the estate.
Overall, the probate process in Virginia can be quite complex and time-consuming, particularly if estate litigation is involved. So, working with an experienced estate litigation attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your interests is recommended.
Are you facing a dispute related to the estate of a loved one? Don’t try to navigate the legal system alone. The Law Offices of SRIS P.C. can help. Our experienced estate litigation Lawyers have a deep understanding of Virginia law and can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to protect your interests.
Can a will be challenged after it has been admitted to probate in Virginia?
Yes, a will can be challenged after it has been confessed to probate in Virginia. However, challenging a will after probate has been granted is more difficult than challenging a will before probate.
In Virginia, a person who desires to challenge a will after probate has been decided must file a petition for relief from the probate court. The petition must be filed within six months of entering the probate order. The person must also offer evidence that supports their claim that the will is invalid.
The grounds for challenging a will after probate in Virginia are generally the same as those for challenging a will before probate. These grounds may include the following:
- Lack of capacity: If the person who made the will did not have the mental capacity to understand what they were doing when they made the will, the will might be invalid.
- Undue influence: If the person who made the will was unduly influenced by someone else to make certain provisions in the will, the will might be invalid.
- Fraud or mistake: The will might be invalid if the will was made due to fraud or mistake.
- Improper execution: If the will was not executed properly, such as not being signed or witnessed according to Virginia law, the will might be invalid.
Note: As it is a highly challenging process, a will after probate requires some legal support. So, it is recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced probate attorney if you wish to pursue this course of action.
If you need legal assistance with a will case in Virginia, the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. can deliver you with the experienced representation you need. Our Estate lawyers are committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to learn more.