PROBATE & TRUST LITIGATION

Despite the many nuances that can arise in probate and trust litigation, in reality, there are only two types of administration: uncontested and contested.  In an uncontested administration, the family gets along and the goal is to get transfer assets quickly and to address tax events as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

When faced with these types of administration, our team at Correa Law relies a great deal on our paraprofessionals to satisfactorily complete every estate detail cost-effectively and in a timely manner.  While attorney overview is an ever-present part of your estate administration, we work synergistically with our paralegals, who accomplish much in the way of research and investigative detail. 

Nevertheless, Contested Cases, whether in probate or trust administration, are a completely different process. 

Contested Cases are unique and are governed by special rules.  The Contested Process often involves the following phases:

1st: Plead the Allegation.  Here, we raise the issue regarding the any wrongdoing.  Note: if your family is challenging a will or trust, there is a brief window of time in which to raise the contest – 6 months from the admission or denial of the will, but no later than 2 years from date of death, inclusive of that date.

2nd: Discovery Phase. Here, we find out and assess all relevant information. 

3rd: Pretrial Phase.  During this phase, we can attempt motion on the pleadings, motions concerning the admission, and the non-admissibility of evidence.

4th: Trial.  For most estate administration cases, the trial will be a Bench Trial, but sometimes, in a will or trust contest, the parties may elect a jury trial.  This election for a jury trial shall be made at the onset of the proceeding.

5th: Appeal.  Any appeal must be made, if at all, within 30 days of a final order.

In addition to trial, there are multitude of contested hearings that may take place. These include the following:

  • Hearing on Heirship

  • Citation to Recover Assets

  • Action for Accounting by Fiduciary

  • Citation to Discover Assets

  • Citation to Remove Administrator or Executor

  • Pleading to Remove Trustee

  • Motion for Declaratory Judgment