Litigation Law Firm Bethesda MD
If you’re searching for a top litigation law firm Bethesda, Maryland has to offer, you may already know that the loss of a loved one can be a devastating experience that is difficult to overcome. The loss is compounded when family members disagree about what should happen to a loved one’s property, or when they learn that he or she was financially exploited by a caregiver. We have experience handling many types of complex estate disputes, including cases involving will interpretations and inheritance rights. We may help you deal with the challenging and sensitive issues that can arise.
At Brown Kiely, our team knows how important it is for families to have access to a trusted litigation law firm Bethesda MD can provide — especially after the loss of a loved one. Estate litigation is one of the most essential parts of our practice, but can be complicated to handle. It may involve family members fighting over a property and they claim the will is not valid, or the decedent owes money on the estate. If any of these situations occur, a claim may need to be filed.
When you need a top litigation law firm Bethesda MD residents trust to provide counsel during estate matters, you might be looking for assistance regarding one of the following issues:
- Kinship litigation:
- Spousal rights to inherit property
- Prenuptial and antenuptial agreements
- Inheritance rights of distant relatives
- Trust litigation: Counsel for defending a trust or contesting a claim to a trust
- Will litigation: Counsel for constructing a will or contesting a will
- Fiduciary litigation: Counsel for establishing an executor or trustee who can manage the affairs of an estate
These matters may be extremely sensitive affairs, particularly when a loved one’s passing has strongly affected the family. It may be incredibly important to have a trusted source of legal counsel during this period of grieving, a litigation law firm Bethesda MD trusts can make all the difference. During this time, a case such as one listed above could tear families apart and cause a vast amount of stress on the individuals involved. Our attorneys are prepared to handle this matter in an efficient and professional way.
Call our firm and stop by for a free initial meeting and let us understand how we can help you solve your issues and win your case. Hoping to provide any sense of relief, we are a litigation law firm Bethesda MD citizens can call on to assist you with a potential case. If you live in Florida or New York, we are still able to help you since we are licensed in those states, including District of Columbia, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
About Our Team
At Brown Kiely, our team is dedicated to serving local families throughout the Bethesda region who are looking for assistance in estate litigation matters. While it may not be absolutely necessary to hire a lawyer for these concerns, there are several reasons why it may prove to be beneficial to hire a Bethesda litigation law firm who know the region and has worked with many families in the area.
We are a litigation law firm in Bethesda MD that have five Partners to choose from, two Associates, and an Of Counsel. All coming from different backgrounds, we have just what you are looking for when deciding on an attorney for your case.
- Daniel Brown, Partner
- Matthew E. Kiely, Partner
- Eileen O’Brien, Partner
- Jesse Stein, Partner
- Joseph Press, Associate
- Ian Thomas, Associate
We are a litigation law firm Bethesda MD can call on to meet your needs. Besides litigation law, we also provide assistance with:
- Personal injury
- Partnerships and shareholder disputes
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
First, a lawyer who is experienced at handling estate matters within Maryland could be invaluable for family members who reside out-of-state. Laws governing estate management and inheritance proceedings may differ from state to state, so when estate matters cross state lines, it’s important to know that you’ve abided by all necessary requirements.
Second, it can be a great relief for families to hire a lawyer so that they can focus on healing. An experienced legal team, such as those at Brown Kiely, a litigation law firm Bethesda MD trusts, provides compassion alongside knowledge. Whether your family is mourning the loss of a loved one, or you simply want to get your affairs in order for your family members, consulting a lawyer may be a very wise decision.
Our values include integrity, accessibility, and commitment. From your first meeting, these are obvious among several others. We want people to think of us first when looking for a litigation law firm Bethesda MD provides. We believe communication is crucial when working through a legal matter, which is why accessibility is one of our core values. Our staff works around the clock to provide our best work on your case. We can fight for you.
Speak With a Litigation Law Firm Bethesda MD Residents Can Recommend
When you need a litigation law firm in Bethesda MD, Brown Kiely should be your first call. Our law firm is proud to be an established part of the Bethesda community and proud to be a trusted source of estate litigation. If your family may benefit from working with an attorney for any issues related to estate law, our firm would be pleased to speak with you. We strive to make this process go as smooth as possible for your entire family, given the circumstances. We try to be a Bethesda litigation law firm you want to call on first to help you through this process.
Our team of top notch attorneys with years of experience understand the stress any legal case may bring, especially when dealing with litigation of any kind. What started in 1988 in a closet size room, has now evolved into a multi-attorney firm with experience in a number of areas who have the same work ethic as they did twenty years ago. We can attempt to tackle any case, big or small, from nursing home abuse to estate litigation, our determination has only grown over the years to be a litigation law firm Bethesda MD citizens can trust.
For more information about Brown Kiely, a top litigation law firm Bethesda MD depends on, call us today.
Problems That Can Occur During Probate
After a person dies, their will must be proved valid in court. This is called the probate process. Probate typically takes several months to complete, but it can take even longer if problems arise during the process. If issues occur during the probate process, you shouldn’t hesitate to call a litigation law firm in Bethesda MD for assistance.
Here are some of the most common problems that can occur during probate.
The Will Is Contested
If a person believes that a will is not the true reflection of what the deceased wanted, they can contest the will in court. For example, if the person thinks that the deceased was mentally incapacitated or forced to sign the document against their will, they may try to challenge it. The person has to show some type of proof that the will isn’t valid. As you can probably imagine, contesting a will can slow down the probate process and heirs won’t receive their assets as quickly. A litigation law firm Bethesda MD can prepare and litigate your case if you feel your loved one’s will is not valid.
The Executor Is Unable to Fulfill Their Duties
In a will, a testator can name a person as the executor. This person is responsible for making sure all the wishes of the estate are carried out and the beneficiaries receive the appropriate assets. However, not every executor is able to fulfill the role. Some may be too busy or simply don’t want all of the responsibility. When this occurs, the court has to appoint a new executor, which can delay the probate process. A Bethesda MD litigation law firm can assist an executor who finds they cannot proceed with the process.
The Executor Fails to Fulfill Their Duties
An executor is responsible for acting on behalf of another person and can’t act on their own self-interests. If an executor does this or doesn’t fulfill other obligations, the court can remove them as the executor and appoint someone else. This can significantly slow down the process.
Assets Can’t Be Located
It might sound strange, but sometimes it can take a while to find certain assets. The executor has to find all the assets until they can be transferred to beneficiaries, which can take a lot of time. It’s possible to avoid this dilemma if the testator provides detailed instructions on how to find the assets in the will.
Creditors Make Costly Claims Against the Estate
All valid debts have to be paid off before assets can be distributed to heirs. If a credit card company or other creditor makes a valid claim against the estate, it will generally have to be paid. However, if you believe a creditor is wrong, you can make them prove that the estate truly owes them money. The negative side about this is that it can significantly slow down the probate process.
If you need assistance during the probate process, consult with an experienced probate lawyer. The probate lawyers at Brown Kiely, LLP have extensive legal experience with probating estates and want to be there for you. Contact our litigation law firm Bethesda MD families trust today to set up a free consultation.
Litigation Law for Estate Disputes: 5 Key Questions
1) What Happens if There Is an Unsigned Will?
The lack of a signed will does not mean that no estate plan exists. Your estate can still be distributed according to any valid document you’ve drafted, such as a living trust. For example, if you’ve created a durable power of attorney and it remains valid when you pass away, then your executor or trustee can use that legal document to oversee your affairs while your probate is pending. If all of your wills have been revoked and there is no other plan in place, then state law determines how your estate will be divided up. Just make sure there’s someone who’s able to administer those assets on your behalf while they’re waiting for probate court proceedings to come to an end (this person could also serve as an executor should you leave behind a valid will).
2) What Happens When There Are No Wills?
Every state has some sort of protocol for estate disputes when there is no will — the legal term is intestate succession. These procedures vary by state, but you should know that in most cases, family members are given precedence over unrelated individuals when it comes to distributing a deceased person’s assets. So if you have siblings or children (or other close relatives), you may be able to leave them a portion of your wealth even if your estate isn’t large enough to warrant creating a will. On that note, planning ahead by creating a will can ensure that your assets are distributed as you intend after your death; consider talking with an attorney about what steps to take next.
3) What are Probate Assets?
During probate, a probate court determines which assets should be transferred to heirs or beneficiaries of an estate. In some cases, all assets owned by a deceased person are considered probate assets and subject to probate; in other cases, there are certain exceptions, such as bank accounts that are passed on automatically to named beneficiaries. Probate laws vary widely across jurisdictions — some states don’t require wills at all while others offer protection against creditors.
4) When Can I Take Over as Executor?
Whether you are named in a will as executor, or if you are chosen to be an executor by a court, being given power over someone’s estate can make you feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. However, there are times when you may want to assume control of someone’s estate right away. There might be a pressing matter that needs your attention such as paying off bills or managing property; a creditor may try to put pressure on you to act immediately. In some cases, it might even be necessary to assume control of an estate as soon as possible. If so, consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in estate litigation.
5) How Do I Dispose of Probate Assets?
Probate assets are sometimes hard to sell because they’re typically linked to a larger estate and may have very little resale value. If you don’t want to be saddled with such an asset, talk to your attorney about how you can dispose of it in a way that minimizes its impact on your estate. One option is to transfer it directly through a non-probate transfer, also known as an asset bypass trust. This is essentially a legal document that passes ownership of property directly from one party (often yourself) to another without passing through probate. It can be especially helpful if there are multiple beneficiaries who want different types of assets or if you want specific non-family members or charities included in your estate plan.
Contact a litigation attorney today for help with your estate dispute case.