When should you dispute an estate?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Estate Administration & Probate |

In Virginia, courts take the distribution of a person’s assets after their death very seriously, ensuring adherence to the deceased’s wishes as stated in their will or estate plan. However, there might be times when you should question the validity or administration of a loved one’s will or estate plan. Initiating a dispute over an estate is a significant move, potentially leading to prolonged legal battles and strained family ties. Knowing the appropriate circumstances for challenging an estate’s details is important for anyone doubting the accuracy or execution of a will or estate plan.

Specific situations under Virginia law justify disputing an estate to guarantee fair asset distribution. Being aware of these instances allows you to proceed knowledgeably and timely.

Valid reasons for estate disputes

You should consider disputing an estate if you believe the will or estate plan inaccurately reflects the deceased’s intentions. This could occur if the document is not current, they created it under undue influence or it fails to meet Virginia’s legal standards for wills.

Identifying undue influence or coercion

Evidence suggesting the deceased was under undue influence or coercion when they made their will is a strong basis for an estate dispute. Look for sudden, unexplained changes in the will that disproportionately benefit one person, especially if the deceased was vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation at the time.

Problems with estate administration

You might also dispute an estate if the executor does not properly manage the estate’s assets, follow the will’s instructions or distribute assets promptly.

Understanding when to challenge an estate in Virginia is key to ensuring the fair execution of your loved one’s final wishes. If these issues arise, disputing the estate could correct potential injustices and ensure the equitable distribution of the decedent’s property.