The possibility of mistakes or missteps is present anytime you are entering into a potentially costly or protracted litigation case, and matters involving a disputed estate are no different. Here are some of the most common mistakes someone can make and – more importantly – what you can do to avoid them:
Don’t Let Your Emotions Think For You
The loss of a family member is often difficult for the entire family and only made more so when there is a conflict over the execution of an estate. Keeping a cool head will serve you well. When we are upset, angry, or grieving, we tend to react blindly, and that can cause problems down the line.
Hang on to any documents or communications, official or otherwise. Emails, voicemails, or legal documents can all be taken into account when the court considers and rules on your case, and you can never be sure what may ultimately help get a ruling in your favor.
Keep Contemporaneous Personal Notes
Apart from the documentation you keep for the purpose of presenting to the court, keep personal notations of conversations and developments in the case as you go. It is easy to feel like you have a handle on everything early on in the case, only for the details to become muddled as time goes on. They do not have to be elaborate, even the abridged version of general goings-on throughout the litigation process can be useful if you need to refresh your memory later on.
Do Not Go It Alone
Estate litigation is a complicated and thorny endeavor. There are dozens of processes, rules, and terms you may not be familiar with whether this is your first experience with the court system or not. A second pair of eyes can make all the difference between a shrewd move and an expensive misstep.
Can a Litigation Lawyer Help Address Any Concerns I May Have Regarding My Estate Litigation Case?
The truth is you do not know what you do not know. No amount of reading or forward-thinking can truly prepare you for everything you might encounter in a situation as complex and nuanced as estate litigation. The wisest thing you can do – the first and most important step to avoiding any potential mistakes in your estate case – is to speak with a litigation lawyer who knows the lay of the land and can help you make the right decisions from the jump. The only thing worse than an unfavorable outcome in litigation is an unfavorable outcome that – in hindsight – could have been easily avoided if only you had known then what you know now.