Five Challenges in Probate Administration and Ways to Resolve Them

Common Challenges in Probate Administration and How to Overcome ‎Them

Probate administration is a critical legal process that follows the passing of an individual. It involves validating the deceased's will, settling outstanding debts, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. While probate is intended to ensure a smooth transfer of assets, it often encounters several challenges that can complicate the process.

A knowledgeable and experienced probate lawyer in Denver can help you through these probate challenges, but it is wise to be aware of these problems. Here are the five most common challenges in probate administration and ways to overcome them:

1.   Dying Without a Will

A person dying without a valid will (intestate) can lead to complications in probate administration. Without proper instructions, your assets will be distributed by the court based on intestacy laws.

Overcoming the Challenge

  • Create a Will: The most effective way to prevent this challenge is to draft a comprehensive will. A will allows you to instruct how the assets should be distributed and ensure your wishes are followed after passing.
  • Consult an Attorney: If you have lost a loved one who died intestate, seek guidance from an experienced probate attorney. They can assist in navigating the legal complexities and ensure the estate is distributed as per state laws.

2.   Contested Wills and Disputes

Contested wills and disputes among beneficiaries are another common roadblock in probate administration. When disagreements arise, it can lead to lengthy legal battles, increasing costs and further delaying the distribution of assets.

Overcoming the Challenge

  • Legal Representation: Engage experienced probate attorneys who can defend the will's validity and navigate the dispute resolution process.
  • Mediation: This is an alternative to litigation. A neutral third party can help find common ground and facilitate communication among disputing parties.

3.   Missing Beneficiaries

Identifying and locating beneficiaries can be a significant obstacle in probate administration. Some beneficiaries may be unaware of their entitlement, or their contact information might be outdated, delaying the distribution process.

Overcoming the Challenge

  • Thorough Research: Executors should conduct extensive research to identify all potential beneficiaries. This may involve contacting family members and friends or using professional locator services.
  • Publish a Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries: Placing a notice in local newspapers can help inform unknown beneficiaries and creditors of the probate proceedings. This notice invites them to come forward and claim their share.

4.   Settling Outstanding Taxes and Debts

Probate administration involves the settlement of the deceased's outstanding debts and taxes before distributing assets to beneficiaries. Determining the extent of the debts and navigating the tax laws can be complex, leading to potential errors and disputes.

Overcoming the Challenge

  • Thorough Asset Evaluation: Work with a probate attorney to comprehensively evaluate the estate's assets and liabilities.
  • Priority Payment: Ensure debts and taxes are paid in order of priority, as defined by the law, to avoid legal issues.

5.   Family Conflicts

Family conflicts, unfortunately, are not uncommon during probate administration. Grief, emotions, and long-standing familial issues can resurface, leading to disputes and disagreements among family members.

Overcoming the Challenge

  • Open Communication: Encourage clear communication among family members to address concerns and prevent misunderstandings.
  • Fair Distribution: Prioritize fairness in asset distribution to minimize potential disputes.

Consult Professional Probate Attorneys at Evans Case

Probate administration can be complex and challenging, but understanding and proactively addressing these common obstacles can help alleviate the difficulties. By enlisting the support of an experienced probate lawyer in Denver, families can navigate the probate process more smoothly and honor the wishes of their departed loved ones without undue stress.

Remember, each probate case is unique, and seeking personalized legal advice is crucial for a successful probate administration. Get in touch to book an initial evaluation.

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Evans Case is a full-service Denver Law Firm. With more than 110 years of collective experience we are relentless and compassionate advocates for our clients. The deep legal experience and wisdom of our senior attorneys combined with fresh thinking of younger associates ensure the best possible results in each case. Our attorneys understand that the best outcomes are built on thorough understanding, compassion, and respect.

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