It's unfortunate that there are Inheritance and Beneficiary Disputes. However, they do happen, and more often than they should. These disputes usually create a divide in the family. When they are pursued they create even more tension and strife. If there was not a will left for the family to follow, it can be next to impossible to reach an agreement. In some cases, even with a will, there are disputes. When one sibling has more power within the family dynamic than another or is able to hire a lawyer to exclude the other siblings, the need for litigation becomes apparent.
Did you know that the California Probate Code specifies that a beneficiary or family member be entitled to receive a copy of any Trust after the death? You're entitled to see and read the paperwork left behind by your loved one. There's no reason for you to be in the dark about their desires and intentions for your family.
The first step you can take in this fight is to ensure you have requested a copy of the documentation. If you are denied the copy and cannot gain cooperation from the other parties involved, you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you with the process. At Hemet Legal, our goal is to provide you with the necessary information to make the right decision for your inheritance.
If there is a Last Will and Testament, the chances of each party receiving what they deserve will be much higher than if there is no documentation. Where there is a written path to take regarding the deceased estate, the inheritance and beneficiary disputes will be minimized by a judge in a court of law. There will be no tolerance for deviations from the documents and each side will be protected.
In the situation where there is no written documentation, a process known as Intestate Succession will have to be used. The estate will be divided equally among the children, or in the case of no children, then the parents, and so forth. There are various rules and guidelines for each family situation and in these types of cases, your best course of action would be to hire a reputable attorney to figure out exactly what each side is entitled to. An attorney who works in these types of cases will know the next steps to take, because it is within their legal scope. For the most part, the attorney will be able to gauge the validity of each side and help you proceed.
When there are fraudulent changes made to the Last Will and Testament, you should immediately seek the counsel of an attorney. These cases are serious, because the person who changed the will probably stands to benefit more from the changes than others in the family. These cases occur when the person writing the will has diminished mental capacity, usually due to an illness. They are persuaded to change their will and it benefits one party over another.
If you find yourself faced with an Inheritance Dispute, the most effective way to handle it will be through professional legal assistance.
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