Understanding Estate Litigation
The estate litigation process can be complicated, and the stakes are high. Estates are the source of many fights and can also be used to pay the bills. Sometimes, parties will disagree over who is the executor or who should manage the estate. Disputes can also arise over ill-defined beneficiaries or property value changes. Therefore, if you are contemplating filing for estate litigation, it’s essential to understand how the process works.
Costs of estate litigation
Estate litigation can be expensive. A person considering filing a lawsuit must think that if they lose the case, they may have to pay the other party’s legal costs. In litigation, Alberta courts follow the “costs follow the event” rule. However, a narrow exception relieves the losing party of its costs. The exception only applies in cases where the testator was at fault for initiating litigation or a dispute. For example, the brothers would not be liable if the testator had forged a will or trimmed out a beneficiary.
Traditionally, Dallas estate litigation lawyer fees were paid from the estate. However, this practice depletes the estate and leaves little money for the beneficiaries. Fortunately, the courts have begun to adopt a new approach to estate litigation costs. Unlike in the past, the Court now treats expenses like costs in civil litigation. If a party wins, then it is entitled to recover its legal fees from the losing party.
Impact of estate size on contests
In this article, we consider the variation in estate litigation contests across states in Dallas and the impact of estate size on conflicts. In addition, we identify recurring themes that underlie judicial decisions and their implications for law reform.
We find a strong correlation between the size of an estate and its likelihood of succeeding in court. Larger estates are more likely to meet the needs of a broader range of claimants, resulting in higher success rates. However, the size of an estate is not the only factor affecting success rates in estate litigation contests.
The estate size and the beneficiaries’ financial circumstances determine how much deterrence. If a beneficiary receives only a tiny amount of the estate, there is little deterrent effect. If, for example, the trust was valued at $50,000 and the beneficiary received only that amount of money, the no-contest clause would be ineffective.
Expert testimony required in estate litigation
Some courts have issued a new opinion regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses in estate litigation. These decisions bring the law closer to the federal standard. Nevertheless, estate litigators are not immune from attack. There are several factors to consider when deciding whether an expert’s testimony should be admissible.
The first thing to consider is the expert’s credentials. The more qualified an expert is, the more likely the jury will think they are credible. For example, suppose a Dallas estate litigation lawyer has no real-world experience. In that case, the expert’s testimony will be less plausible than that of a real estate broker with 20 years of experience. Additionally, the credibility of a “professional” expert witness can be diminished if they are perceived as an ivory tower idealist or a hired gun. If that’s the case, the expert’s testimony can be awkward.
Expert testimony must be well-reasoned and grounded in an accepted body of knowledge. Furthermore, it cannot be speculative. It must be well-reasoned, based on the accepted body of knowledge, and explain how it was concluded. In the end, the court will decide whether an expert’s opinion is credible based on a scientific method.