York, Chester & Lancaster County Probate Dispute Lawyer
Will Contests and Inheritance Disputes
Probate litigation is a minefield because it usually pits one family member against another. You may need an attorney who can advance your interests while treading lightly or you may wish to proceed with litigation.
The Law Office of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. in Rock Hill and Lancaster, South Carolina, represents beneficiaries, excluded heirs or representatives of the estate in probate litigation and dispute resolution. Contact us today for assertive, solution-oriented representation. We also represent out-of-state clients with a stake in estate litigation in South Carolina.
One or more heirs may challenge the validity of a will, especially a recently revised last testament or codicil. Craig Wilkerson handles probate problems in Probate Court or Common Pleas Court.
Wills and probate disbursement may be challenged based on a variety of issues:
- Lack of testamentary capacity (dementia or mental illness)
- Undue influence by a family member or friend who convinced an elderly person to alter a will
- Improper execution (not witnessed or notarized)
- Fraud, forgery or misappropriation of assets
- Spousal elective share
You may need the depositions of doctors or others who can provide evidence of the testator’s mental health at the time the most recent will was signed, and examines whether the will differs abruptly or aligns substantially with prior versions. Every case tends to be different, just as every family may be different.
If the person died without a will, South Carolina law is clear about who inherits, even if a large portion of the estate goes to the recently married spouse or estranged son or daughter. Disputes among heirs usually center around value of assets or how to divide them. Experts may be needed to help our clients identify their due share of the estate, or bring suit to partition land or liquidate assets.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Hiers or executors may need representation in matters involving allegations of impropriety or incompetence in settling the estate: theft of assets, collusion with other heirs, or failure to notify heirs or disburse assets. Litigation may seek to reclaim assets or replace the representative.
Probate litigation can be drawn-out and expensive, and it often creates lasting feuds. Seek legal advice to learn your rights and to find out where you stand.