You have likely heard about how time-consuming and costly probate can be in South Dakota. One of the reasons why probate can hold up the distribution of property is because people file a lawsuit. However, not everyone has the right to intervene in court during the probate process. One needs to be an interested party to participate in the process.

Who is an interested party?

When you draft a will, you never know exactly who is an interested party for purposes of probate. Certainly, the people named in the will are considered interested parties. However, you may be surprised to know that other family members may be included in this category, even those who have not been included in the will. Further, if there is a previous version of the will and now a new will is not including certain people, those who have been left out may be considered interested parties.

Notice must be given of probate

The question of who is an interested party is important because it determines whether someone can participate in the process. Thus, notice must be given about the probate process so that people who think that they may be interested can at least try to participate. This could also include creditors or anyone else who thinks that they have a financial interest in the estate. There may be litigation at the outset to determine who can be a part of the process.

If you are going to be involved in the probate process, you may need a probate attorney to make sure that your interests are protected. This is especially true if there is a fair amount of property at issue in the estate. Probate can be a technical and confusing process, so you or your heirs may benefit from legal assistance while the estate makes its way through probate court. The need becomes even more pronounced when there is estate litigation.