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What are the rights of a person contesting probate proceedings?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Probate Administration |

Probate is the process of closing out an estate and settling the deceased personal matters. In most cases, probate occurs quickly and without issues.

However, sometimes, a person may wish to bring an objection about the handling of matters. If you want to contest an estate, the law provides you some rights that will ensure the probate court hears your side.

Right to file

You can file an objection to probate at any time you wish as long as the court has not closed the case. Once the judge issues a final order, you no longer can do anything about the decisions made or the matters at hand.

Right to present case

You have the right to present your case as you would in any other legal matter. You can provide witnesses and evidence to back up your claims and show the court why it should find in your favor. You also have the right to present your case in front of a jury.

Important note about rights

It is essential to understand that you only hold the right to contest a probate matter if you have an interest in the estate. In layman’s terms, an interest in an estate means that you will receive something or would be eligible to receive something from the deceased.

For example, if you were a friend of the deceased and you feel your friend should have included you in the will but did not, you do not have a claim. Unfortunately, you have no legal rights as a friend. Only family members would have a claim like this.