CA Estate Litigation Attorneys Representing Your Interests
Our San Mateo-based law firm fighting for you
Estate litigation can be stressful for those involved and can be a huge drain on the estate. The best way to avoid such litigation in the future is by having a comprehensive and well-drafted estate plan. However, if you become involved in estate litigation, either as a proponent or challenger of the estate, our San Mateo lawyers at Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP have the courtroom experience to represent your interests aggressively and effectively.
Challenging a will during the probate process
Estate litigation often comes about when a person challenges the validity of a will during the probate process. A will can face challenge if it does not meet the execution requirements of the California Probate Code. This means that, in most cases, the deceased and two witnesses must sign the will or the deceased must have handwritten pertinent provisions. The person offering the will for probate must provide clear and convincing evidence that the will meets these requirements.
Even a properly executed will can face challenge based on the state of mind of the signer. Under the California Probate Code, a will is not valid under the following circumstances:
- It was signed by a person under duress or undue influence.
- The will was created due to mistake or fraud.
- The signer lacked the mental capacity to understand his or her actions.
In these cases, the person challenging the validity of the will must present clear and convincing evidence that one of these conditions existed at the time the deceased signed the will.
This type of challenge can be very contentious and a trial may ultimately be necessary. Our experienced San Francisco estate litigation attorneys have the negotiation and litigation skills to decrease the burden that such a challenge puts upon the estate by equitably resolving the dispute out of court. If a fair resolution proves unworkable, a California estate litigation attorney with Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP has the trial experience to be an effective courtroom advocate on behalf of our clients.
Other types of challenges can occur later in the probate process. A beneficiary may feel that the personal representative or executor of the estate is acting improperly or interpreting provisions of the will incorrectly. Our estate planning lawyers in San Francisco counsel executors to help them avoid or quickly resolve probate disputes. However, whether you are an executor or a beneficiary concerned about the actions of an executor, our attorneys can aggressively represent your interests through negotiations, mediation and, if necessary, trial.
Consult an experienced San Francisco estate litigation attorney
Our CA estate litigation attorneys at Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP know how to make probate run smoothly. However, if disputes occur, our attorneys have the litigation experience to represent the interests of our clients effectively and efficiently. Our practice is concentrated in San Mateo County and San Francisco, but we also represent clients in Silicon Valley, the Peninsula and throughout Northern California. Conveniently located at the intersection of Route 92 and U.S. 101, we offer evening and weekend appointments as needed. For a complimentary consultation, contact us today at (650) 341-2900 or leave a brief message on our contact page.