Estate planning disputes: How often does a will contest flare up?

Estate planning outcomes in Massachusetts vary widely, which is hardly surprising. After all, the relevant details surrounding estate administration in any given case spotlight matters that are unique to affected parties. Every family is different, which understandably makes every resolution distinct and materially varied.

Having said that, though, it can certainly be stated that estate administration often goes off without a hitch. We underscore that point on our website at the proven Braintree estate planning Fein Law Office, from our perspective as experienced advocates and, when necessary, litigators for valued and diverse clients in the planning realm.

We stress at our firm that in many cases “the administration of an estate goes smoothly, with no major conflicts between the interested parties.”

Like so much in law, though, a statement like that must be qualified. We do so by noting that a problem-free estate outcome necessarily occurs only “in the best possible scenario.”

In real life, best-case endings are anything but assured in the estate realm, given family complexities, asset-tied emotions and myriad other factors. In response to the above-posed headline query in today’s blog post, it can certainly be said that family conflict concerning estate matters occurs “often enough.”

And when it does, the tensions and acrimony relevant to a will dispute/probate challenge can be notably elevated.

Will contests can center on many claims, including these:

  • Infirmities in the construction and validity of a will (including fraud)
  • Decedent’s lack of capacity and susceptibility to undue influence
  • Material modifications made to legal instruments late in life
  • Disagreements centered on separate-versus-marital property considerations

Parties on both sides of a will contest – that is, individuals defending against claims and persons alleging a violation of their rights under a will, respectively – can turn for guidance and diligent legal representation to an experienced estate administration attorney.

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Attorney Christopher J. Fein

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