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Identifying who may be an interested party in probate litigation

| Aug 13, 2020 | Probate |

When an individual who took the time to plan the estate and leave behind a will, they probably thought everything was set in stone. The point of a will is to have their assets dispersed as instructed. However, there are situations when a will may be contested in probate court. The reasons for the contest in Georgia vary. Once this occurs, though, all interested parties must be notified so that they can have their day in court too.

In will contests, interested parties includes the beneficiaries. They can contest the will because they believe that something is missing or that the will is not valid as it stands. Disagreements over an inheritance are not uncommon. Interested parties encompass the individual’s entire family, which means that it stretches out to the extended family. If there was more than one marriage, the designation includes previous spouses as well as children born to the deceased. Essentially, all family members could be considered interested parties.

If there was an estate executor named through the will, it is that person’s job to contact anyone who may be an interested party. If there was no executor named, the probate court will take on the job. If everyone is not notified of the contested will, this could cause another set of problems once they find out down the road.

Will contests and probate litigation can be a challenge. Delays are caused for those who believe that they are rightful beneficiaries. Then, the interested parties have to patiently wait as the probate court goes through its process. One way to add a layer of protection to an inheritance is to hire the services of a lawyer who deals with estate planning and probate litigation regularly. The lawyer may provide guidance throughout the process.

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