Orange County Estate Litigation Attorney
When a loved one dies, their surviving family members may not only face the emotional distress that often follows the tragic incident but also complex legal disputes regarding the estate of the deceased. Estate litigation might arise due to an apparently incomplete or improperly constructed estate plan, but even carefully established estate plans can generate complex legal disputes between beneficiaries.
Legal Counsel for Orange County Estate Litigation
If you find yourself in this situation, legal counsel you can trust is invaluable. The right attorney can help you navigate estate litigation more efficiently, helping you and your family settle the dispute as quickly and effectively as possible. The Flanigan Law Group offers more than a decade of experience with estate litigation. We understand the emotional and financial stress of families reeling in the aftermath of a death in the family and how contentious estate disputes can be. Our team can provide the legal counsel you need to navigate estate litigation more easily.
Why Do I Need an Orange County, CA Estate Litigation Attorney?
Creating an estate plan is the best way to help your family avoid probate after death. However, even the most carefully crafted estate plans can generate unpredictable disputes that lead to months or even years of tedious and emotionally stressful legal proceedings for the family members of the estate owner. An Orange County estate litigation attorney is the best asset to have when these situations arise.
Your legal team can help you understand the legal mechanisms involved in your current situation so you and your family can settle your estate dispute as quickly and decisively as possible. Unfortunately, the emotional tensions that estate disputes typically entail can make it difficult for beneficiaries to approach these situations objectively.
Your Orange County estate litigation lawyer is the best asset you can have in this situation, helping you understand the legal mechanics of your case and keeping emotional turbulence in check. Flanigan Law Group believes in providing client-focused legal counsel in estate litigation. We take time to get to know you and your family, thoroughly investigate the estate plan in question, and provide comprehensive legal counsel through every phase of your case.
Common Estate Disputes in California
Estate litigation can arise from many different situations. However, some of the most commonly reported causes of estate disputes in Orange County, CA, include:
- Accusations of financial abuse. Elder abuse of any kind is a crime in California. Unfortunately, some beneficiaries of elderly individuals will illegally coerce them into making financial decisions related to their estate plans. If an individual commits any form of financial abuse of an elder, other beneficiaries or family members can raise estate disputes.
- Undue influence and coercion. An estate plan is only legally viable and enforceable if the estate owner creates it in good faith, free of any undue influence or coercion. If an heir or beneficiary engages in any wrongdoing to unduly influence the estate owner, other beneficiaries can raise disputes against the administration of the estate.
- Fraud and forgery. Estate litigation may arise if any interested party believes that another party has engaged in illegal forgery, fraud, or other actions intended to distort the estate owner’s true intentions.
- Executor embezzlement. The executor or personal representative of the decedent is responsible for faithfully executing their duties and handling the estate’s finances in good faith. If an executor overpays themselves or commits other forms of embezzlement, they are liable for damages to the estate’s beneficiaries and may face criminal prosecution as well.
- Failure to fulfill fiduciary duty. The executor of an estate has a fiduciary duty to the estate’s creator and the estate’s beneficiaries to handle all aspects of estate administration in good faith. Estate litigation can arise from an executor’s failure to fulfill their fiduciary duty, potentially resulting in damages to the estate or beneficiaries.
- Beneficiary disputes. An estate plan should list the estate owner’s heirs and beneficiaries. Sometimes, beneficiaries may disagree on these designations or raise concerns about a beneficiary’s legal ability to claim a portion of the estate. It’s also possible for preexisting beneficiary designations on specific accounts owned by the deceased to conflict with designations included in their estate plan.
These are just a few examples of how estate litigation might arise.Of course, it’s possible for estate litigation to erupt out of a dispute between two or more parties involved with a deceased individual’s estate, but the outcome of this case is likely to affect everyone of the deceased’s beneficiaries.
Estate litigation typically requires extensive discovery processes and challenging proceedings for all parties involved. For example, your case may revolve around an executor’s mishandling of your loved one’s estate, or a beneficiary could raise a dispute if they believe the estate plan itself was compromised by fraud, forgery, undue influence over the estate creator, or other abusive practices.
Suppose you are unsure whether your current circumstances could give rise to estate litigation in Orange County, CA. In that case, it is crucial to consult an attorney as soon as possible to determine the best approach to the situation. Your Orange County estate litigation attorney can help you assess the situation and help you prepare for the problematic legal proceedings you likely face.
What to Expect From Estate Planning and Litigation Lawyers
Flanigan Law Group offers comprehensive and compassionate legal representation in all types of estate litigation. These cases often involve difficult emotional situations and complex legal statutes that the average person may not know how to navigate independently. Your Orange County estate litigation attorney can thoroughly review the estate planning documents in question, help you understand the core legal concepts involved in your case, and guide you through the dispute in a timely and efficient manner.
The team at Flanigan Law Group has more than three decades of experience handling all types of estate disputes. We understand the emotional elements often in play in these cases and strive to help our clients make informed decisions about their cases. When you choose our team to represent you in estate litigation, you can expect robust legal counsel through every phase of your case. If you are concerned about an executor’s handling of your loved one’s estate, we can help. Contact the Flanigan Law Group today and schedule a consultation with our team to get the answers you need to your most crucial estate administration questions.