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Protecting Your Legacy

How to navigate the emotional toil of a probate dispute

by | Jan 27, 2021 | Probate & Estate Administration |

Maybe your an executor charged with overseeing someone’s estate, and some of the beneficiaries want to challenge your handling of the estate. Perhaps you are a beneficiary from a last will who thinks that a stepparent or sibling exerted undue influence on your loved one to get them to change their wishes.

Whether you are bringing a challenge or defending against one, going through contentious proceedings in probate court will be very stressful. Not only will you have to worry about the legal implications of the hearings and the financial fall out of any decisions made by the court, the dispute you have now could have a long-term effect on your family relationships.

Estate disputes often result from unclear communication by the deceased party, unmet expectations by heirs and even lopsided and seemingly unfair terms in last wills. How do you handle the stress caused by a probate dispute?

Get support in the right places

These days, when people feel stressed out, they typically turn to social media to vent. After all, social media provides an audience of people that you know and care about to sympathize with your situation.

Unfortunately, the exaggerated and dramatic way that people convey themselves on social media could do them harm in court. Statements that you make online could come back to haunt you, even if you thought the other party couldn’t see what you posted. Many families wind up torn apart by inheritance disputes, and you have no way of knowing which of your friends and acquaintances might side with the other party in this disagreement.

Turning to someone with whom you have a confidential relationship is a safer option. A counselor or therapist can give you space to vent and help you find a healthier perspective on this difficult situation.

Turn the focus on your own healing by relying on good legal support

Navigating legal matters on your own behalf is difficult even in the best of circumstances. When you are already dealing with grief from the loss of a loved one and stress or frustration from the contention around the last will, you may fail to be your own best advocate.

Your emotions could get the better of you in court, or your lack of knowledge and experience could mean that the other party manipulates you and convinces the courts to rule in their favor. By getting help with your probate litigation issues from an attorney, you can let someone else handle the legal matters and arguing in court. Instead, you can focus on your own emotional healing.