Charlotte Estate Planning Litigation Lawyers

The pain of losing a loved one makes conflict surrounding his or her estate even more difficult to bear. In some cases, family members are not aware of their deceased loved one’s plans and are surprised to find out they will not be inheriting any property or assets. In other cases, family members challenge their deceased loved one’s will, claiming that it was made under duress or fraudulent means. Other estate planning litigation involves challenges to a trust or trustee. Many of these conflicts lead to estate planning litigation in North Carolina.

Contact a Charlotte Estate Plan Litigation Lawyer Today

As difficult as challenges to a loved one’s will can be, it is important to face them head-on. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers know how to work out these types of disputes effectively for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation at our Charlotte, Mooresville, or Monroe office to learn how we can help you through this time.

Types of Estate Litigation

Estate planning litigation can be some of the most emotionally and financially exhausting legal matters. When family members are pitted against each other in court, the results can be devastating. Our attorneys understand how to navigate the intense emotions involved in estate litigation with empathy. We recognize that there is always a human dimension involved when we are dealing with the resolution of an estate. Experienced attorneys can navigate these challenges with skill while appreciating the human dimension involved.

Estate planning litigation can arise in various ways. Even when the deceased individual created a careful estate plan, disputes can still occur.

Estate litigation covers a broad range of disputes that involve probate, trusts, wills, inheritance, and the transfer of property of vulnerable or incapacitated adults. Estate litigation also includes legal conflicts after a person becomes incapacitated or dies. Probate litigation involves the disagreements and disputes over intestate estates in which someone dies without a will in place or with a will that does not address all of his or her assets. Probate litigation also includes disputes about accounts that are payable on death, property deeds, and property held in joint tenancy. The most common types of estate planning litigation involve the following:

  • Will contests
  • Fiduciary misconduct or incompetence
  • A petition for an executor or trustee removal
  • Contested probate
  • Contract disputes
  • Fraud claims related to unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • Misrepresentation claims
  • Claims against insurance companies for denying coverage improperly
  • Elder law litigation involving nursing home neglect and abuse

In some cases, skillful negotiation can work to resolve estate planning disputes favorably. Agreeing outside of the court process can benefit all of the parties involved and save them time and money. However, in some cases, aggressive litigation becomes unavoidable. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we use our in-depth knowledge of probate and estate laws, and use our assertive negotiating skills to pursue the most favorable outcome for our clients’ particular circumstances.

Disputes Over a Person’s Will

A significant amount of estate litigation involves disputes over a person's last will and testament. In some cases, family members claim that the person was unduly influenced by someone else to make or change their will or trust. Not all influence over a person constitutes undue influence, but when one person unduly influences a testator, North Carolina Courts can choose to invalidate the will.

In other cases, family members contend that the person who signed the will lacked the capacity to do so. Perhaps he or she had Alzheimer’s or dementia when he or she created or changed the will. Other cases involve one family member discovering a more recent will than the will entered into the probate process. In these cases, the court will examine which of the wills is legally valid and the court will determine which will should be used to distribute the decedent's property.

Contact a Charlotte Estate Litigation Lawyer Today

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our estate litigation lawyers are prepared to defend your rights. We have trial experience, and we are ready to present your estate litigation case in court effectively. We are also strong negotiators who can negotiate with the other side to try to resolve your legal matter without the need for litigation. Whether you are involved in a will dispute, a probate dispute, or a dispute involving another element of estate planning, we can help. Contact the experienced probate lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.