One of the main reasons that Nevada residents make comprehensive estate plans is to avoid the potential for probate litigation when the time for the plan to be implemented comes. No one likes to think of their heirs and beneficiaries being tied up in the probate court system fighting over assets. However, the reality is that probate litigation is common enough. So, what are the common causes of probate litigation in Nevada?
Well, for starters, there may be a claim that the planner lacked the “testamentary capacity” to execute the estate plan in question. This means that someone is asserting that the planner may not have had the mental capacity to fully understand the assets that are included in the estate plan, and may not have understood the instructions in the estate plan as to who should receive certain assets. Testamentary capacity is one of the base fundamentals of estate planning — if someone does not have the capacity to execute an estate plan, the estate plan may not be valid.
Next, there may be a claim of “undue influence.” This means that someone took advantage of their relationship with the deceased in order to influence certain decisions in the estate plan before the person died. If a claim of undue influence is successful, it means that the deceased did not have the necessary free will to dictate the terms of the estate plan, and the estate plan may be declared invalid.
There may also be a claim that the will submitted to the probate court is not, in fact, the actual most up-to-date will that should be used. An heir may claim that the deceased executed a subsequent will that supersedes the one submitted to the court. There are other bases for claims in probate court, and anyone in Nevada who is dealing with these issues may benefit from getting more information about their legal options.