Probate litigation is one of the thorniest and most contentious areas of legal conflict in New York. It often pits family members against one another with millions of dollars in assets and liabilities at stake. To fully understand and litigate one of these cases, the people involved must know about interested parties and estate administrators. Understanding the role of interested parties is essential for courts to figure out exactly how to process a probate case.
What are interested parties?
Interested parties are the groups that may receive property or have some other form of influence in the estate litigation process. When an estate is opened, the interested parties are revealed by the will or a legal assignment if a person dies intestate. These parties often cannot take independent positions, such as becoming the estate’s administrator.
Administrators must be viewed by the participants involved as impartial and not motivated by selfish interests. They will be making determinations as to what bills can or cannot be paid by the estate, how assets should be divided, and whether or not certain assets should be sold. One power that interested parties have is to fire and replace the estate administrator if they do not believe this individual is properly representing the parties involved.
Importance to litigation
Interested parties are the ones who are often filing lawsuits in probate litigation. These men and women will immediately fill a certain role when considered by attorneys and judges in the probate system. They are seen as representing their self-interests and judges will often defer to the arguments and plans of disinterested parties over their own. Interested parties certainly have rights granted to them by wills and the legal process. But they need to keep this status in mind whenever they plan to launch probate-related litigation.