Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in a civil suit, you should always be open to the idea of settling your case out of court. In fact, far more civil cases are settled out of court than in court. According to a Bureau of justice Statistics’ Survey of State Courts, only 3% of tort, contract, and real property lawsuit that the courts disposed of were decided by trial (2% by a jury). Going to trial can be unpleasant and costly in terms of time, money, and emotion. While the client has the final word on the decision to accept a settlement offer, he or she should listen to the counsel of his or her attorney in such matters. If not properly handled by the attorney a probate and revocable trust can also go into probate and revocable trust litigation. Avoiding probate and revocable trust litigation is very important.
People who normally are reasonable, sometimes become out of control during the closing and distribution of their parent’s or spouse’s will through probate or the distribution of a revocable trust after death. A lot of hurtful things are said and done. An experienced probate, will and trust attorney can sometimes help avoid probate and revocable trust litigation. Let me give you an example. A blended family. His kids. Her kids. Second marriage. The kids were all adults when their parents married. The attorney, by understanding the emotions, can go a long ways towards settling everyone down and getting through the estate closing. Unless everything is distributed equally pro rata there is likely to be complaints. Say that there is one child from the father, and two children from the mother. The children will think the only fair way to divide this is equal shares one third each. But mom and dad may have had a different idea. Their will and revocable trust may the divide the probate or revocable trust estate ½ to your child and ½ to my children. An experienced probate, will and trust attorney will provide copies of the will and revocable trust to the children. Then set a meeting to go over the will and revocable trust. The attorney should point out that the trustee and personal representative is legally required to follow the wishes of their parents. Maybe that is not the way they would do it, but it is the way mom and dad did it. Honor your parents. Accept what they said without complaint.
If the appeal to the moral high ground does not work, my revocable trusts and wills have a failure to cooperate clause and a strong no contest provision. Those clauses tend to tamp down the objections and get the ball rolling after it is explained to them. If you violate those provisions you will find yourself disinherited. An experienced probate, will and revocable trust attorney can sometimes settle a problem before it boils over into probate and revocable trust litigation.
Court cases in real life are far different from the dramatic scenes we see on television. I am experienced in the legal system and know how to work within it. If you need an experienced probate, will and revocable trust attorney, contact Brent D. Coldiron, attorney at law, 1800 E. Memorial Road, Suite 106, Oklahoma City, OK 73131 or 2801 Parklawn Drive, Suite 503, Midwest City, OK 73110; telephone (405) 478-5655 and 737-2244. Brent has over 42 years experience handling a variety of legal matters, including probates, will, revocable trusts, business formation, elder law, Medicaid qualification for nursing home care, corporations, limited liability companies, and guardianships. Give Brent a call, he knows what to do!