The probate system means that the case goes through a court. Every court has a judge presiding in it, who is in charge of the legal process and makes key decisions in the case. When your case is in probate, it will be assigned to a judge.
The hope is that your probate court judge will act in mostly an administrative manner, approving and signing off on legal filings from the court. If you have drafted a will, and there are no issues with family members or creditors, your judge may have a minimal role.
The probate court judge’s role will increase when there is a contested will or when the family members do not get along. They will also need to get more involved when a person dies without a will.
What Issues a Probate Judge May Decide
Then, the probate court judge will act exactly as a presiding judge at a trial would. They would review the filings from all the parties and consider each side’s arguments. They would hear the evidence that each interested party presents in favor of their case. In these cases, judges may be called to decide:
- Whether an executed will is valid
- Whether to appoint a guardian for a ward and who should fill that role
- Issues where the beneficiaries and the executor are at odds
- Cases where the executor is alleged to have engaged in misconduct
- Who should be appointed as executor when the deceased does not have a will
If your case requires extensive participation from the probate judges, chances are that you may be in protracted litigation that requires an experienced attorney.
Contact a Lincolnshire Estate Planning Attorney
If your case is in the probate process (and especially when there is a dispute), our law firm can help. Contact the firm of Chuck Newland and Associates online or call us at 847.797.9300 to set up a time to talk about your case.