Generally speaking, once you have completed the probate process, the estate and question will be closed, heirs no longer need to manage it, and people are free to spend their beneficiary money wherever they like. However, there are some cases in which people will attempt to re-open probate to sue in a state. This can be quite a difficult process to undertake, and could even end up wasting your time and effort. Additionally, other beneficiaries or heirs of the estate may be ready to fight for their rights to the money in question. Read on to learn more about the process of suing an estate (with an estate planning lawyer) after it has been closed after probate.
What Is Probate?
A probate court is: “a court of limited jurisdiction that hears matters surrounding a person’s death. For example, probate courts oversee the distribution of dead peoples’ assets according to their wills and direct the distribution of dead peoples’ assets if they die without a will. Some probate courts also hear petitions to declare people incompetent and oversee guardians or conservators. Other jurisdictions leave these matters to family courts. Probate courts are governed by state and local law. Some jurisdictions have surrogate courts instead of probate courts.”
Why Might I Need To Sue An Estate After The Probate Process?
Court probate is a public process. This means that anyone who is interested can look at the assets in the state and can see who will inherit one. If someone chooses to collect a judgment from the deceased, they have the option of filing a lawsuit against the estate. Typically speaking, this needs to be filed when the probate process is open–but, in some cases, it can be done after the probate process has terminated.
In some cases, a court may determine that there are additional assets after the probat has closed. If this happens, they can reopen probate, with the intention of distributing the new assets between the new beneficiary and, of course, settling any taxes that must be paid on those assets.
What Is The First Step To Suing An Estate Once It’s Been Closed After Probate?
Are you interested in suing an estate after the probate process? First, you should consult with an attorney. At Thomas Walters, we take great pride in offering comprehensive estate planning services to meet all of your needs. Our experienced Raleigh estate planning lawyers can represent you and guide you through the process so that your best interests are taken care of at all times.
Your first step would be to file a petition that requests to reopen or re begin the probate process for the already-settled estate. Again, it’s crucial to do this with the supervision and assistance of a skilled estate planning lawyer who has extensive knowledge regarding North Carolina state law. Choosing to challenge or contest the decisions and actions of a probate court is not something you should attempt to accomplish without a legal advocate. It’s a long process, and many disputes among family members could arise.
WIthin the petition, you would raise your concerns and explain why you wish to reopen the probate process. If your reason for suing the closed estate involves assets that were already distributed, you will need to cite this in your petition.
Why Do I Need An Attorney For Estate Planning And Estate Management?
Suing an estate after probate can cause many additional legal issues to arise. It can be a difficult battle between family members and loved ones and, without the help of a lawyer, you run the risk of not knowing the full extent of applicable law, and also the risk of making a costly mistake that could interfere with favorable results.
At Thomas Walters, we have extensive experience helping North Carolina families create and manage estate plans. We can guide you through common questions or concerns to ensure you have the right plan in place. Should you ever need to modify your plan in any way, or file a petition after probate, we can also help you make these adjustments with you and your loved one’s best interest in mind.
Schedule A Free Estate Planning Consultation With A Raleigh Estate Planning Attorney
Our estate planning attorneys at Thomas Walters have experience in a wide variety of different areas and understand how to craft comprehensive plans that protect your entire family and estate. To learn more about your estate planning options in Raleigh, or about filing a lawsuit after probate, schedule a free consultation with Thomas Walters today.