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Beneficiary disputes may arise during probate

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Estate Planning

Most people create a will with the intention that their wishes will be carried out and their assets will be distributed to their beneficiaries without any big problems. The beneficiaries are the people that receive your property after your death.

Sometimes, the beneficiaries disagree with parts of the probate process, and it can cause a dispute.

Probate process

First, it’s useful to understand probate, which is the process your will goes through after you pass away. Your will must be filed with the probate court and if your will does not name an executor or estate administrator, the court will appoint one.

The executor will file a probate petition with the court and give notice to your creditors so they can file claims against the estate, if applicable. They will also create an inventory of your assets, pay any outstanding debts and taxes, and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries.


Beneficiaries may disagree with how the will is interpreted, including claiming that the will does not reflect your true intentions or that the language of the will is not clear. They may also disagree with who is chosen as the administrator of the estate or state that they are not able to act without bias.

They may also argue over who should receive family heirlooms or valuable property, like real estate or investments or state that they are owed a larger share of the property than what is designated in the will. These disputes may prolong the probate process, meaning that the estate cannot be closed until these issues are resolved.

There may be options to address potential disputes in your estate plan.