Probate is the legal process of verifying and administering a will after someone passes away. While probate in Colorado can take months to years to resolve, it can also be costly, especially if disputes arise at any point during the process.
At the Law Firm of Tammy W. Akers, we know how complicated Colorado probate can be—and we know how the process can become even more challenging, prolonged, and expensive when conflicts arise. Whenever this happens, you can turn to Colorado Springs Probate Lawyer Tammy W. Akers for experienced help:
- Protecting your rights during probate litigation
- Avoiding mistakes that could compromise your interests
- Resolving your case as favorably and efficiently as possible.
Call 719-323-6421 to schedule your free, confidential consultation and get essential answers about your Colorado probate case.
What Is Probate Litigation?
Probate litigation is the legal process of resolving the disputes that arise during probate. Generally, these emotionally charged disputes involve disagreements about the terms of the will, the distribution of the estate, and/or the administration of the estate.
Specifically, disputes in probate litigation involve issues like (but not limited to):
- The validity of the will: Will contests can be triggered by claims that the will was not properly executed or that the person who created it was not of sound mind. These disputes may also involve allegations that another, more recent will exists or that the will was obtained under duress or some type of fraud.
- The terms of the will: These disputes typically arise over ambiguous or overly complex language in a will. In these cases, the wording may leave room for more than one interpretation, or it may make it difficult to decipher the intent behind the language.
- The appointment of a personal representative: With these conflicts, interested parties will disagree about who should be the court-appointed individual to administer the will.
- Disinheritance: These disputes can involve current or former spouses, children, and/or possibly others who believe they were wrongly excluded from the will. With these conflicts, there are also usually questions about the validity or terms of the will.
- Breach of fiduciary duty: Fiduciary duty is the legal obligation to act in the best interests of some other party. In probate, the personal representative has a fiduciary duty to act without bias, paying an estate’s debts and distributing the assets. Disputes that allege a breach of fiduciary duty can be based on claims that a personal representative has treated a creditor or beneficiary unfairly. These claims can also allege that a personal representative has somehow acted in his or her own best interests, instead of the best interests of the estate.
What Happens During Probate Litigation in Colorado?
During probate litigation, the disputing parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments to support their positions. Depending on the nature of the dispute, this may require or involve:
- Further investigations to gather more supporting evidence: This can include efforts to track down newer versions of a will, determine the circumstances around the creation of a new will, and other efforts. A skilled probate attorney will know where to start looking for key evidence, as well as the best methods of compiling, preserving, and presenting that evidence.
- Depositions and/or expert testimony: When disputes involve claims that the decadent made certain promises, had specific intentions, and/or may have not have been of sound mind when creating the will, it may be necessary to call in multiple witnesses. Examples of witnesses who may be called for depositions or testimony during probate can include medical professionals, home health care professionals, loved ones, and possibly others.
- The presentation of evidence and arguments in court: Whenever probate disputes can’t be resolved outside of court, it will be up to the probate judge to make a final decision. As a result, how these cases are presented in front of the judge is of the utmost importance.
Each of these steps can have major impacts on how probate litigation is resolved and, in turn, how the will and estate will be administered.
How Long Does Probate Litigation in Colorado Take & How Much Does It Cost?
It depends. The nature and complexity of the dispute will impact both:
- How long probate litigation takes in Colorado
- How much it will cost to resolve the case
Some of the specific factors that can affect the length and/or costs of these cases include:
- How many disputes there are
- Who the disputing parties are
- The nature and complexity of the conflict(s) and/or available evidence
- The court’s schedule
You can get a more specific answer, related to your situation, when you contact the Law Firm of Tammy W. Akers.
How Can a Colorado Springs Probate Litigation Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced probate litigation lawyer, like Colorado Springs Attorney Tammy W. Akers, can help you at every step of the process. Whether representing you in or outside the courtroom, Tammy W. Akers has the skills, knowledge, and resources you can trust for:
- Honest advice and clear answers: This is what you need in order to understand your rights and options at every juncture. Empowered with this information, you’ll be able to make the choices that are best for you and avoid any missteps that could sabotage your interests.
- Responsive service: Questions, concerns, and complications may arise throughout the probate litigation process. When they do, you can count on Attorney Tammy W. Akers to get back to you promptly. She is committed to putting your needs first, and she’s focused on going the extra mile to provide the support and answers you need when you need them.
- Superior representation: Whether you need to challenge a will, address fiduciary duty issues, or otherwise resolve conflicts in probate, Tammy W. Akers can provide the strategic, effective representation you need.
She proudly and effectively represents several types of parties in Colorado probate litigation, including (but not limited to):
- Disinherited parties
- Personal representatives
Contact a Colorado Springs Probate Lawyer Tammy W. Akers for More Answers & Help
Don’t try to fight probate disputes alone. These conflicts can get heated, complex, and costly. They may even extend the probate process by years if they aren’t handled properly.
On top of that, other parties you face in probate litigation can—and often do—come to the table with fierce legal representation. Make sure you’re ready to present the best possible case. Contact Colorado Springs Probate Lawyer Tammy W. Akers.
Call 719-323-6421 to schedule your free, confidential consultation. The answers you get during this meeting can be essential to taking the right steps moving forward.
Whether you’re preparing for probate or you’re already involved in a probate dispute, the sooner you contact Colorado Springs Probate Lawyer Tammy W. Akers, the better. Backed by more than 35 years of experience in probate law, Attorney Tammy W. Akers is the advocate you can trust when it’s time to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcomes.