Springfield Probate Lawyers
Capable Representation for Estates & Beneficiaries Throughout Missouri
When a loved one passes, most estates must go through a formal legal process known as probate before beneficiaries can receive assets. The process varies depending on the size and complexity of the estate and whether the decedent had a will. Disputes may arise for a variety of reasons, including doubts about the validity or clarity of a will. At Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC, we’ve been engaged in probate and estate litigation for more than 40 years, representing estates, creditors of estates, and estate beneficiaries. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to deliver optimum results in a cost-effective manner.
Managing Estate Disputes with Debtors & Creditors
An estate must collect amounts owed and pay amounts owing before assets are released to beneficiaries. In our practice, we collect on behalf of estates and pay all legitimate claims. We also represent creditors in collection actions against an estate. When questions arise regarding the validity of a claim for payment against an estate, we work to resolve the dispute on the most favorable terms possible for our clients.
Handling Challenges to Wills in Missouri
Perhaps the most common form of probate litigation is a will challenge from one or more of the decedent’s heirs. Often, these challenges are without merit; the heirs are simply disappointed in the size of their bequests. But, in many instances, the heirs present a credible case that the will or other testamentary document is invalid.
Grounds for a viable will challenge include:
- Coercion — The testator was forced to sign a will that was contrary to his or her wishes.
- Fraud — Either someone tricked the testator into signing a document that did not contain the terms as the testator understood them or someone has replaced the true will with a counterfeit.
- Undue influence — Someone close to the testator used emotional manipulation to induce the testator to change a will in that person’s favor. This type of case arises when a caregiver with special access to the testator keeps relatives away and convinces the testator they no longer care.
- Void for vagueness — A will, or other estate planning document, can only be enforced if its terms are clear. Phrases that are open to various interpretations inevitably lead to disputes the court must settle by deciding on the meaning of a phrase, striking the phrase from the will, or declaring the entire will invalid.
Our estate litigation attorneys represent the estate and beneficiaries in will challenges in probate court.
Retain Effective Legal Counsel For Your Probate Dispute
Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC has vast experience in probate litigation, representing estates, claimants, and beneficiaries. Our Springfield probate lawyers understand the importance of delivering cost-effective and timely results in these proceedings.