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What causes probate and trust disputes?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Estate Planning

Residents of Northern Kentucky may find themselves involved in a dispute over a will or trust for many reasons.

Typically, when people think of probate litigation, they might think about family members fighting amongst themselves or situations where children are pitted against a person’s new spouse.

According to a local bar association for a neighboring state, disgruntled family members most frequently make the following types of legal claims:

  • That a loved one did not have the mental ability to make a valid will or trust.
  • Even if they were technically able to make a valid document, another relative unduly influenced the loved one who died to alter their estate plans.
  • The executor or personal representative has breached their fiduciary duty, engaged in self-dealing or has otherwise fundamentally failed to do their job.
  • The trust or estate documents are not clear.
  • Property that should belong to the estate has been lost or mishandled.

While this is a good overview of what sort of disputes commonly erupt between family members, Kentucky and Ohio law may use slightly different terms and definitions.

Also, not every probate or trust dispute is between family members. For example, a deceased person’s creditor or even a government agency may stake a claim to a trust or an estate’s value.

A person should consult an experienced attorney if they have a question about probate litigation in Ohio or Kentucky.

Good communication is one good way to head off probate disputes

Between family members, probate disputes often begin as misunderstandings or breakdowns in communication.

A good, clear estate plan which a person communicates to their loved ones well in advance can go a long way in smoothing over hard feelings that might lead to litigation.

However, sometimes probate or trust litigation is difficult to avoid. In such cases, a Northern Kentucky resident will want to make sure they understand their options and possible strategies.