Given that it usually involves family members, the prospect of estate litigation is something most folks don't want to jump into any sooner than necessary. However, it's important to protect your rights, and that may require hiring an estate litigation lawyer to get the process moving. Here are four times you should consider suing over an estate.
More Harm Is Possible
One of the foremost reasons an estate litigation attorney will want to start a suit quickly is the risk of further harm. Suppose it is clear that an executor is abusing their fiduciary position to enrich themselves through the maintenance of properties within the estate. This is a problem that almost certainly is going to get worse with time. The sooner you sue, the sooner you may be able to obtain an injunction and at least stop the harm from worsening.
A Legal Question Is Blocking the Estate
While it's normal to want to give negotiations a chance, there may come a point where a dispute over a specific legal question leaves the estate in limbo. This is an intolerable condition in the eyes of the law. Presuming you've made a good-faith effort to sort things out with the other parties to an estate, the best move might be to ask a judge to address the question. Once you get an answer from the court, you can then move ahead.
Fraud or Undue Influence
Generally, you shouldn't expect parties that have willfully subverted an estate to back down. Even if they do, there may be enough of a mess left behind by their conduct that someone still has to undo all of it. It's best for such actions to go through the court's authority. This will reduce the odds that additional parties might be upset by further actions. It also serves to address litigation risks by simply getting to the lawsuit sooner and ensuring that the court will protect everyone's rights.
Every estate needs someone to administer it, but the executor isn't always in the best position to do so. For example, an executor might be too busy to give the estate the attention it deserves. This can slow things down and act as a disservice to the beneficiaries. Consequently, an estate litigation lawyer might sue and ask the court to appoint an administrator. The court-appointed administrator would then have a duty to expedite the process as much as the circumstances allow.
To learn more, contact an estate litigation lawyer.