Although most people in Texas understand the importance of an estate plan, the fact is that it’s not an entirely foolproof arrangement. The reason is that once a relative has passed on and their estate begins to be distributed, there may be certain legal challenges that pop up. This could involve everything from who gets the family home to who is even eligible to obtain assets. During this time, the courts will ask who is an interested party. This can make the probate process much lengthier and expensive if an interested party decides to contest the will.
Who is an interested party?
An interested party is any family member of the decedent. Even if they are not inserted into the original estate plan, they may have a legal right to contest it once the decedent has passed on. Other interested parties may include those who were in the original will but may have been removed during revisions. If this occurs, probate litigation begins, and all evidence is brought forth to a judge.
Interested parties beyond family
In some cases where the decedent passed away with a large amount of debt, creditors may use this time to seek compensation. They will tell the courts that their financial interests will be affected by the distribution of the estate, so they must be part of it as well.
When is an interested party determined?
There are cases in which a person may have been part of the initial estate plan and then later removed. Are they still an interested party according to the law? The answer is yes. Even if they were removed or not added when assets were moved around, the person does not lose their right to be an interested party and is eligible to challenge the will if they have a valid claim.
The probate process can be very lengthy and complex. Thus, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in probate litigation in order to receive the best possible chance of seeing a positive outcome for yourself.