Justin S. Eppler
Suspicions that Could Delay Probate and Estate Administration
Did one of your loved ones choose you to serve as executor of his or her estate? In this position, you will be responsible for the completion of numerous tasks that could present a challenge — and that is if everything goes smoothly. When someone has suspicions about the validity of the will or your dedication to your duties, it could delay probate and estate administration, which could further complicate your duties and your dealings in an Alaska court.
It is not enough that someone is not happy with an inheritance. The individual expressing suspicions can only bring a case before an Alaska court for certain reasons. Several common reasons for contesting a will exist. For instance, someone may dispute your fitness to serve as executor or could allege that you are not fulfilling your duties.
The mental capacity of your loved one at the time the will was signed could come into question. Second, the person could allege that someone threatened or coerced your loved one into signing the will you are using for the probate process. Even though an heir or beneficiary cannot bring a claim just because he or she is unhappy, it does not mean that a claim cannot be brought if the distributions are quite unequal. Other elements of the will could also come into question, especially if it does not seem legal.
The estate will be involved in these disputes. There is no way around it. This means that you will be involved in them as well. If the court rules that a valid claim exists, you will more than likely need assistance defending the estate, your loved one and possibly yourself as you move through the probate and estate administration process.