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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Texas Inheritance Traps: Contested Probate is A Common Inheritance Trap in the Texas Legal System That Causes Families to Lose Substantial Wealth

Texas Inheritance Traps: Contested Probate is A Common Inheritance Trap in the Texas Legal System That Causes Families to Lose Substantial Wealth by Texas Inheritance Lawyer and Texas Contested Probate Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Several inheritance traps in the Texas legal system cause families to lose substantial wealth. One of the most expensive traps is contested probate litigation. This inheritance trap typically entails family members fighting through litigation over the estate of a loved one. Contested probate litigation can begin prior to the loved ones death in contested guardianship cases and can continue for years after the loved one's death. These cases can cost families hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars. Depending on the size of the disputed estate, the contested issues which are litigated, and the parties involved, these cases vary is cost, but commonly cause families to lose a substantial amount of wealth.

For the most part, if at all possible it is best to avoid contested probate lawsuits. There are some steps that families can take to attempt to avoid contested litigation including estate planning and communication.  That being said, many of these contested probate lawsuits are unavoidable because of changing family dynamics and specific types of people in a family. 

Some Contested Probate Cases Are Unavoidable Because of Changing Family Dynamics and The Personalities of Certain Family Members

Even though good estate planning can help prevent some types of contested probate litigation, there is no perfect one size fits all estate plan that every family can use to avoid contested probate. A main reason for this is that family dynamics often change over time, especially, when a person's health fails and they get closer to death. In other words, estate plans are moving targets. These plans commonly change due to changes in living situations including where family members move, who takes care of family members with poor or failing health, and if family members get divorced or remarried.

Further, there are specific types of people who commonly cause contested probate litigation. These personalities include: 1) people who fail to communicate their wishes, 2) people who commonly change their Wills or Trusts, 3) people who use their wealth to control those around them, 4) estranged family and black sheep, 5) opportunists, and 6) fraudulent and ruthless individuals.

More specifically, a common type of family member who causes contested probate litigation is a ruthless, materialistic, manipulating, and self entitled person. These people are commonly vulture like and begin circling around wealthy people when their targets are sick or close to death. In litigating contested probate cases, it is common to discover that other family members have seen these traits in these family members and often expect them to attempt to ruthlessly seek significantly more than their fair share of any inheritance. Further, it is common for this type of person to be involved in multiple contested probate disputes.  It is also common to discover these family members have successfully taken wealth from others in the past. 

Overall, the combination of changing family dynamics and specific types of family members often make contested probate litigation unavoidable. 

Contested Guardianship Lawsuits, Contested Trust Lawsuits, Contested Wills, and Contested Estate Lawsuits Are All Forms of Contested Probate Litigation 

Numerous family battles start prior to the death of a loved one when the loved ones' health begins to fail. In these situations, contested guardianship cases or contested trust cases often start as family members attempt to protect family wealth or attempt to take wealth from a family member. These battles also commonly start as Will contests or disputes over estate property. For more information on contest probate litigation, please go to the following web pages: Texas Contested Guardianship Lawsuit Information, Texas Contested Trust Lawsuit Information, Texas Will Contest Lawsuit Information, and Austin Texas Probate Litigation Lawyer Information.

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