Often, bankruptcy cases are filed in a court which is termed as bankruptcy estate. Here the equitable interests and legal interests of the debtor are considered. An estate becomes part of the jurisdiction of bankruptcy court in such cases and a trustee who is appointed by the court will review the same. The creditors’ interests are upheld by the trustee in such a legal case. When the bankruptcy estate proceedings are held the intangible and tangible assets of an estate come under scrutiny. The trustee appointed by the creditors can sell off the assets of a bankruptcy estate in order to pay off as much as possible of the outstanding debt in question.
Features of bankruptcy estate cases
The laws regarding bankruptcy estate are varied and can have different significance under different jurisdictions. For instance, in certain cases, bankruptcy estate does not only include interests of the debtor, but also any community property that might belong to the debtor and his or her family members like a spouse.
Usually, all the tangible assets that a debtor owns need to be considered. Hence, a piece of land that might be owned, artwork collections, car and other aspects are all considered part of the assets owned by the debtor or that which comprise the assets of his or her bankruptcy estate.
When such a case is being started, all assets of an estate need to be disclosed by a debtor. These become part of the bankruptcy schedule for the case. Assets which are not exempted are subject to sale, which the trustee has the right to execute. The proceeds from such sales go towards paying the proceedings of the case as well as paying off the creditors.
Certain assets might be removed or exempted from being considered as part of the bankruptcy estate and open to a sale. For instance, a debtor might get the right to exclude savings plans, investments in trust funds and any qualified retirement plans that he or she might have invested in. The statutes applicable in such cases will dictate the assets or categories of the same which can be excluded from consideration. When assets are exempted they are beyond the reach of the creditors or the trustee who is appointed in such cases.
When one passes away, they usually leave behind property as well as debts. Usually, a property that belonged to a person comprise of tangible and intangible assets. These were owned by the decedent before he or she passed away and hence it is termed as a decedent’s estate. A creditor can claim that the deceased owed money to him or her or beneficiaries and other heirs of an estate can dispute the will left behind by the decedent. These are certain reasons that estate litigation matters arise for which legal expertise is sought.
Popularity of estate litigation cases
There are often issues that arise with an estate or property aspects in most people or family’s lives. As a result, a decedent who passes away and has left behind a will might be contested in court. There is a process initiated in such matters called the probate where the executor of the said estate will be responsible to declare the particulars of the will. In case there is no will a petition is often raised to open up the probate estate. In such a case the assets are accounted and the total value is ascertained. At such a time if anyone places a claim against the probate estate they can file a claim for the same in court.
Types of estate litigation cases
Claims that are placed against a probate estate leads to litigation matters if the executor of the estate or will is not agreeable to the claims made by the claimant. In the litigation case that ensues, if the executor agrees with the claims placed, then the sum payable is made out from the assets remaining in the estate. In such cases, there might be out of court settlements. On the other hand, when the claim is not accepted by the executor of the will, the creditor needs to petition for payment and those results in a litigation case.
Besides legal cases that arise when claims are made at an estate, the other category of estate litigation comprises of will contests. In such cases, an heir or beneficiary might challenge the contents of a will. The legal lights for one to contest a will and reasons for the same variety as per country or region; hence, as per existing local laws one can ask for a contest of the contents of a will if they feel that they have been deprived of certain rights to property or assets which should have been rightfully assigned to them. Often, the proportion of share of the assets is contested by different beneficiaries and so forth.
There are different ways you can learn about real estate law. However, if you need to put such legal matters to action, you need to contact an attorney who specializes in local real estate laws in your state or country. The laws on estate vary and are country or region specific; it is thereby important that you know the applicable local estate regulations. This is important not only for those involved in an estate dispute but when you own real estate in a state or country or even when you are a rental seeker in a city or town.
There are general resources you could look up such as online legal forums as well as books were useful and standard clauses are mentioned, clarified and general rights are showcased for the benefit of residents of a country or state. At the time of purchase or sale of real estate, you need to abide by the regional laws for such estate transactions which real estate agents or brokers are usually licensed to help you with. There are real estate inspectors who are deployed by the state in case an estate or a piece of land comes under dispute, especially with the local government. In case a dispute arises between you and another private property owner, you need to seek the help of a real estate lawyer.
- When you need legal help?
There is certain estate related transactions which you should ideally conduct with a real estate lawyer as an intermediary. For instance, selling and buying of land, leasing of office space, construction of buildings are certain instances when compliance is required by local estate laws. You need to get the right legal papers signed and agreements in place with the right set of witnesses who would stand by such transactions and vouch for the law abiding processes that have been followed. For all such transactions and arrangements to be done in a hassle free way, it is best to seek the expertise and counsel of an experienced and reputed estate lawyer in your area.