Los Angeles Inheritance Dispute Lawyer

Los Angeles Inheritance Dispute Lawyer

Los Angeles Inheritance Dispute Attorney

Los Angeles Inheritance Dispute Lawyer

When a loved one has passed away, it is essential that you and your family be allowed the time to process and grieve as befits you personally. No one should have to deal with the additional stress of managing issues or disputes with inheritances in probate.

If concerns or disputes do arise, it is vital that you enlist the help of a qualified and experienced Los Angeles inheritance dispute lawyer. They can walk you and your family through each step to ensure that everything proceeds as intended with your loved one’s estate. The team at Hinojosa & Forer LLP has the experience necessary to thoroughly assist you with any of your needs as you pursue an inheritance dispute in Los Angeles.

What Causes an Inheritance Dispute?

An inheritance becomes disputed when one or more of the decedent’s beneficiaries, family members, or other interested parties disagree over the validity or execution of their loved one’s estate plan or trust. Establishing an estate plan and drafting a will has long been a means for ensuring that all of one’s designated beneficiaries receive their intended portion of the inheritance.

However, there are several reasons why a dispute could arise among one or more parties over the details of how an estate plan was either established or is being carried out. Generally, issues with inheritance can arise:

  • At the establishment of the will
  • After the will was established but before the decedent’s death
  • At the execution of the will during probate

Concerns About the Will

Often, disputes arise concerning some aspect of the will. These can include:

  1. Concerns at the Will’s Creation
    Beneficiaries may dispute details that were true at the time of the will’s creation, whether they were aware of the will’s establishment at the time or not. This most often involves concerns over the validity of the will itself, due to testator capacity, and can include:

    • Lack of testamentary capacity
    • Undue influence during the will’s creation
    • Concerns of fraud
    • Gross disinheritance
  2. Concerns After the Will’s Creation
    Beneficiaries may dispute details that were not true at the will’s creation but have later become true. This most often happens when there is negligence or oversight in keeping the will appropriately updated. This can involve changes in family dynamics, such as:

    • Divorce and remarriage
    • Birth of additional children or grandchildren
    • Family member estrangement
    • Changes in wealth
  3. Concerns During the Will’s Execution
    Beneficiaries may dispute details of how the estate is being executed rather than with the validity or details established in the will itself. This can include:

    • Interpretation of terms within the will
    • Disagreement over the testator’s intentions
    • Executor actions/decisions
    • Disputes with creditor claims against the estate

How Do I Resolve an Inheritance Dispute?

Unfortunately, conflicts between some beneficiaries and either other beneficiaries, the executor, or the estate itself can often lead to complicated and expensive legal claims that end up diminishing any inheritance that is ultimately received. By speaking with a Los Angeles inheritance dispute lawyer, like those at Hinojosa & Forer LLP, you can discover and explore some helpful alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration.

  • Mediation: In mediation, beneficiaries will work together with a third party who can assist everyone involved with peacefully discussing all concerns and subsequent resolution agreements. While not legally binding, the decisions reached together can strongly impact a court’s final decision.
  • Arbitration: The process of arbitration is a more structured dispute resolution option, in which a third party, such as an inheritance lawyer, is brought on to make the final legal decisions regarding all estate disputes. As an unbiased and dispassionate third party, the arbitrator can hear arguments from both sides and reach a fair settlement.

There are several advantages to hiring an inheritance dispute lawyer to lead you through alternative methods. First, doing so keeps all proceedings out of the public eye and allows you to handle family matters privately, without disclosing potentially sensitive information by going through court. Secondly, these methods are most often cost-effective alternatives that protect your inheritance from dwindling down beyond what is necessary.

FAQs About Los Angeles, CA Inheritance Dispute Law

How Do I Recover a Stolen Inheritance in California?

There are several steps necessary for recovering a stolen inheritance in California. First, you must contest the will if there is one. Next, you should file a claim to recover the stolen inheritance. The case will be placed against the individual or individuals whom you believe obtained your inheritance by fraudulent means. The most important step to take to recover your stolen inheritance is to work with an experienced probate litigation and inheritance dispute lawyer who can assist with such litigation.

How Do I Contest a Will in California?

To contest a will in California, you must submit a challenge before the will is admitted to probate. The estate executor will file a “petition for probate” to the court to validate the will. At this time, you can appear in person before the court and present your objection to the will’s validity. After the court has registered the objection, you will be given time to submit a formal written objection, citing the legal reasons for contesting the will.

How Can I Resolve an Inheritance Dispute?

An inheritance dispute occurs when one or more beneficiaries disagree over the specific distribution of a decedent’s estate or trust. There are several ways to resolve this kind of dispute. First, you could file a claim and resolve the matter in court. A more cost-effective and less public solution is to pursue an alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, during which an attorney can hear both sides of the dispute and make a decision as a third party.

What Happens If There Is Not Enough Information About the Heirs?

If there is not enough information about heirs listed as beneficiaries of an estate, and they cannot be located after a reasonable effort, then the remaining inheritance will be left to the behest of the executor’s recommendation, likely going into a trust for a period of time to further allow the heir to claim their property. After this, if they have not claimed their inheritance, it will be distributed to the other heirs.

Get Help From Hinojosa & Forer LLP: An Experienced Los Angeles Inheritance Lawyer

If you have reason to dispute the validity or execution of your loved one’s estate plan, it is important that you seek help from a qualified and skilled estate attorney who can help with all dispute resolution and potential litigation. Contact a member of our team today, and make sure that your loved one’s true intentions are carried out fairly to you and your fellow beneficiaries.



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