If you’re in a dispute over an estate, you might be wondering how the pandemic will impact your case. Unfortunately, at the present time, most court services are limited or closed. With that in mind, there are some things you need to know before you pursue probate litigation during the pandemic.
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Just How Limited are the Courts?
In some parts of the country, trials by jury have been suspended as a result of social distancing. It may be possible to have your case heard by a judge, but you won’t be able to have a jury trial for your probate litigation. Also, investigative services are likely to be impacted by the pandemic, which means you could be limited with regard to the evidence you’re currently able to gather.
In fact, many lawyers and private investigators are postponing all nonessential in-person services until the pandemic has subsided. So, how can you successfully proceed with probate litigation if courts are limited? It’s not ideal, but it’s also not impossible. Here are some questions for you and your lawyer to discuss…
Can Your Hearing be Scheduled for an Earlier Date?
If you hire a skilled Livermore lawyer, you may be able to set a date for your hearing sooner than you expected. In most regions, courts are still scheduling some cases. While it’s true that nonessential hearings were broadly postponed for many people, your lawyer may be able to show the court that your case is essential.
Is Your Probate Litigation Case an Emergency?
If you can demonstrate to the court that your probate litigation case is a matter of emergency, it’s possible you’ll be able to push your hearing forward. You might be able to prove that your case is an emergency if it meets any of the following criteria:
- You’re suffering from serious financial problems as a result of the matter that’s being disputed.
- It’s a possibility that the matter could result in irreparable harm to yourself or another person.
- Or, if you think there’s another reason why you qualify for an emergency hearing, talk with your lawyer about the situation.
Should You Postpone?
Due to social distancing, it may not be possible to have your case heard by a jury right now. If you’re able to schedule an emergency hearing, it’s likely your case will only be settled by the judge. So, it’s a good idea to discuss the best course of action with a lawyer before deciding whether you should wait to proceed after the pandemic.
Probate Litigation Lawyer
If you need guidance, John Lewman is the Livermore attorney who can handle all your estate planning and probate needs, even during these unprecedented times. Contact his office at (925) 447-1250 to schedule a consultation.