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Probate Litigation & Guardianship


Houston Probate Litigation Lawyer & Housotn Guardianship Attorney


Many people prepare well-detailed estate plans ahead of time to secure the future of family members, settle tax issues, and get the maximum benefit out of all the assets. Unfortunately, even the most carefully drafted estate plan can be disputed after a person’s death, often by well-meaning family members. If there are disputes about the interpretation of a will or trust, issues with fiduciary management of an estate, or concerns about the care of a minor child or a disabled person, having a credible Houston estate planning lawyer by your side makes all the difference.

At Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors At Law, we have extensive experience and in-depth knowledge in handling estate, guardianship, and probate litigation cases. We can guide you in administering an estate plan through the probate process and addressing the concerns and objections of family members and beneficiaries. We will help you resolve estate, guardianship, and probate disputes.

Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation with our estate planning law firm.

Why Do I Need a Probate Litigation & Guardianship Attorney in Texas?


When there are complicated matters regarding the validity or purpose of an estate plan, litigation may be necessary. Probate, estate, and guardianship litigation can be time-consuming and complicated. When these legal controversies arise, it is highly recommended to consult our skilled Houston probate litigation & guardianship attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors At Law.  

Our estate planning law firm represents individuals and families in all aspects of estate planning, guardianship, and probate litigation in Houston TX, and its surrounding areas. We address challenges to the validity and interpretation of estate planning documents, defend executors and trustees against claims relating to the administration of estates and trusts, and protect the interests of beneficiaries. Contact us now and schedule an initial case evaluation.

What is Probate Litigation?


Probate is a legal process by which the courts recognize a deceased person’s (the decedent) death, settle their outstanding debts, and distribute remaining assets to their heirs. It is designed to facilitate the transfer of a deceased person’s estate, and when necessary, to protect both beneficiaries’ and creditors’ interests in the decedent’s estate.

During the probate process, various disputes may arise. When an interested party raises a dispute or files a claim in an estate proceeding, probate litigation may be necessary. The probate court also handles guardianships and conservatorships. Disputes and claims may also arise in these legal matters.

Many probate and guardianship matters can be settled without a lengthy and costly trial. However, when the family members and other parties involved are unable to agree to a resolution to the dispute, our knowledgeable Houston probate litigation & guardianship lawyers are ready to prepare the case for trial and protect the client’s best interests.

What are the Common Probate Litigation and Guardianship Issues in Texas?


Houston probate litigation & guardianship attorney

Most people think of the death or incapacity of a loved one as a time for a family to come together in the best interests of everyone involved. However, in some cases, this situation can result in litigation among the family members. Unfortunately, what seemed to be a simple will or trust can quickly turn into a highly contested issue if the parties involved cannot agree.

Probate and guardianship disputes can become highly contentious as family members and heirs fight over the decedent’s estate. Whether family members disagree on a decedent’s final wishes, or someone tries to take advantage of a vulnerable situation, our reliable Houston probate litigation & guardianship lawyers are here to help.

When probating a will or administering a trust, questions and concerns are bound to arise. Here are some of the common probate and guardianship disputes:

Incapacity


Many disputes arise when the will was drafted or amended late in the testator’s life when they began to show signs of cognitive decline. One could argue that the testator “lacked capacity” to understand the contents or consequences of their will.

When an individual becomes disabled or incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for himself/herself, he/she needs a representative to make decisions on his/her behalf. If the person with a disability did not previously execute powers of attorney or other estate planning documents naming a representative, or if the representative is acting inappropriately, pursuing legal guardianship can be an effective way to protect the disabled person’s welfare.

Heirship Disputes


An heirship dispute refers to a situation where a decedent’s beneficiaries and family members are in disagreement about how the decedent’s estate should be divided. Having a good estate plan in place is crucial for avoiding inheritance disputes. If a person does not have any estate planning document, then there will be no guidance on how to distribute assets. One of the most common ways to avoid inheritance disputes is by writing a will.

Texas has very complicated laws regarding who can be considered an heir. If the person had a will, the personal representative or executor administers the probate estate according to the terms of the will, subject to state probate laws. If a person dies without a will (dying intestate), the decedent’s assets will be distributed to the heirs based on Texas laws of intestacy without regard for the decedent’s wishes.

Guardianship Disputes


Choosing a guardian is an important task that must be given to a responsible person, typically someone who is in the ward’s close family. Once a guardian is appointed, the court continues to act for the disabled person’s best interests and oversees the decisions of the guardian.

Guardianship of dependents is often contested in families. Interested parties can dispute either the necessity of a guardianship or the choice of the guardian. In most cases, multiple people may desire to serve as a guardian. Therefore, litigation arises between those people. Other family members might not agree with how the guardian handles medical and financial decisions.

Guardianship can be contested by the proposed ward who may argue that he or she is mentally competent and not in need of a guardian. Both sides will call expert medical witnesses who will prepare physician’s reports to the court, presenting their professional opinion as to the need for guardianship.

Another legal dispute may arise with concern to the guardian’s mismanagement of the ward’s estate, especially if there are significant assets involved. If the guardian has either negligently or intentionally breached his or her fiduciary duty, the ward may seek to have the guardian removed. Whether you wish to establish a guardianship, terminate a guardianship, or contest an existing or proposed guardianship, our qualified Houston probate litigation & guardianship attorneys will work diligently to represent your needs and goals.

Call Our Seasoned Houston Probate Litigation & Guardianship Attorneys Now!


Probate may seem more difficult than it is because of the grief surrounding the probate process. The process is usually smooth because the legalities of the distribution of the estate are most often spelled out clearly in a will. However, one of the most challenging aspects of going through the probate process is dealing with disputes among family members.

If you are facing a dispute concerning a loved one’s estate, our experienced Houston probate litigation & guardianship attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors At Law can help you navigate complicated legal issues involving wills and trusts, probate litigation, guardianship, and other estate administration matters. We understand the significant costs involved in litigation and offer cost-effective strategies and solutions to resolve disputes early on. We will help you protect your rights, interests, and the legacy that your loved one has left behind.

Contact our estate planning law firm now and schedule an initial consultation.

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