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Probate litigation can be complex

For many Nevada residents, probate litigation is a complicated and sometimes messy situation that is difficult to overcome. In a recent probate conflict, this issue has arisen for former Senator Mal Colston's son and the executor of the wills of the Senator and his wife. Mal Colston passed away in 2003 and left his wife, Dawn, as executor and trustee. However, Dawn passed away only 11 months after her husband and her death was before she completed the dispersal of her husband's will.

In her will, she appointed her brother as executor and trustee who then was able to get a grant of probate of her will. There has not been a similar grant for Mal Colston's will. However, Dawn's brother is being sued by her son for lack of distribution of income of the estate. His claim is that he should receive half of his parents' estate income from the time of his mother's death to the present.

Colston's son is also claiming that both his parents' estates need to be administered and an account of the administration taken against Dawn's brother due to willful default. The Court of Appeal has dismissed these appeals with costs, stating that the probate litigation was expanding too far and could become an annoyance for the court. The costs for Colston's son are his responsibility and the costs of Dawn's brother, if unpaid by her son, will come out of the estate.

Although this is just one of many probate conflicts in the country, it is equally important in Nevada to recognize the potential conflicts that can arise from probate litigation.

Source: The Courier Mail, "Battle over Mal Colston estate drags on," Mark Oberhardt, Sept. 9, 2011

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