Evidence In Estate Litigation
One of the greatest hurdles that plaintiffs estate litigators face is gathering evidence to prove to a court what one strongly suspects occurred prior to the death of the deceased.
The deceased is obviously not in a position to testify, and other witnesses to any estate skulduggery are not willing.
One of the greatest resources for background information is that of records such as those kept by hospitals, government, telephone companies, Internet providers, professionals and the like.
One other obvious great source of information is demonstrative evidence such as photographs, videos, notes, cards,letters, and increasingly e-mails and other social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
As the amount of estate litigation increases, it is taking on some aspects of family law, but without the usual urgency that matrimonial law often seems to bring.
It would seem that it is probably more common than uncommon, to see e-mail exchanges, texts, and another forms of social media introduced into court evidence, either at trial or by affidavits.
Chat room conversations can be particularly devastating in matrimonial proceedings, and as I am fond of saying, estate litigation is very similar to matrimonial litigation except that there is one less witness.
My point is that there are now hundreds of millions of people that have left a long digital trail that may come back be very useful to one side or the other in damaging evidence many years later.
It is no secret that a huge percentage of these hundreds of millions of people will have or have posted what in retrospect might be recalled “regrettable”, if not downright humiliating photographs, chats, e-mails and the like.
Dumb by the hundreds of millions.
All of that evidence will be readily available in all types of litigation, including estate litigation, into the far future.