Welcome to Law Lingo: a monthly blog series brought to you by Brown & Crona, LLC that explains estate planning terminologies in simple terms. This month we will explain litigation.
Litigation refers to the process of settling a civil dispute in a court of law. Not all cases end up in front of a judge; sometimes the lawsuits can be settled out of court. Some examples of litigation lawsuits include:
- Injury as a result of another person or company’s negligence
- Discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace
- Breach of contract for work that was not performed according to the agreement
- Medical negligence that resulted in death
Litigation is also very common in regard to estates. When a person passes away, the possessions of that person (the estate) are distributed to the people or entities that designated in the decedent’s will or trust. If there is a will or trust, this process can be fairly straightforward if the deceased person designated who should receive different portions of the estate. If there is no will or trust, the courts make that decision. In either case, if anyone feels as though they did not receive what is rightfully theirs, if they have a valid basis to challenge the will or trust, they can initiate a challenge with the court.
Estate litigation may begin because someone believes that:
- The will was created or modified under the influence of someone else
- The deceased was not of sound mind when it was created
- The will was invalid
- There are conflicting versions of the will
- There was an abuse of power of an attorney or executor
- The person has a legitimate claim to part of the assets
There are many steps involved with filing estate litigation. In order to move the process along quickly and ensure you are being comprehensive and detailed in each step, it is advisable to hire an estate litigation attorney. An estate litigator should be able to take your case to court if necessary.
Still confused by litigation or any other legal terms? The Denver litigation lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC are here to help. Even if you just want to ask questions about your specific situation and get guidance, contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.