When someone passes away the last thing that anyone wants to worry about is handling estate affairs. The right experienced estate lawyers can help you to handle your estate issues. When it comes to estates, it is difficult to really know how long the process is going to be and how long an estate is going to sit.
What is a Contested Estate?
A contested estate is just that, an estate that has some interested party that has raised issues or that wants to fight the estate distribution process. This is not something that just anyone can do. You cannot just contest any estate that is being settled, you do have to have some sort of vested interest in the estate and what happens with it.
If you are a beneficiary that is named in the will for example, if you feel that you have a claim, and if you have some sort of interest in what happens to an estate, you can contest it and force an executor to be named to help settle the estate. If you have an estate of a person that has passed and there is no will, this estate will have to go to what is called probate, where it will sit for a time to allow anyone that has a claim to come forward.
If you do have an estate that is being settled and a creditor comes forward, they can also contest the estate and try to get back some of their money as well and to get back some of the money that has been lost. With an estate that is contested, it can be hard to figure out what is going on and it can make it very difficult to settle the estate overall.
Why Might Someone Contest an Estate?
The most common reason that you might want to contest an estate is that you were left out of the estate, and you feel that you are entitled to some of the estates. If you feel that the estate is not being distributed fairly, or if there is some other condition of the estate distribution that you simply do not agree with.
Contesting an estate is not all that easy and taking the time to figure out what the process is, how long it might stay contested and more can help you get your claim filed and get a fair shake.
How Long Do Contested Estates Usually Last in California?
In the state of California, there are laws in place to keep estates from being contested forever and never being settled. In the state of California, the longest that an estate can be contested is twelve months or 18 months if a tax return is filed. When an estate is contested it is not something that happens overnight and not something that is going to be taken care of very fast.
The first step at settling an estate is to figure out if there is a will in place. If there is a will, you are going to be looking at the will, you will likely have an executor that has been appointed, and anyone that is involved in the will is going to be notified. The will is going to be read and there is going to be a chance for anyone that wants to contest the will or that wants to contest the distribution of the estate.
If the will is not contested, the will is going to be carried out, and the estate will be settled. If the will is contested a representative will be appointed to help settle the estate and help to get the process going so that it can be completed. If you are dealing with a contested estate, the representative will work with the family, with the person that is contesting the estate, and any lawyers to help settle the estate and make sure that the estate is settled in a way that is agreed upon and settled with everyone involved.
When an estate is contested, the person that wants to contest it has approximately 120 days after the will has entered into probate to contest it and to state that you do not agree with the will. If you are going into an estate reading and you are thinking of contesting it, it can be helpful to get a lawyer to help you with your estate law and help you get your claim off the ground.