Our Experience with Trust and Estate Litigation Will Help You Understand and Handle the Process Effectively
Trusts and estates (probate) are designed to do two primary tasks: settle the affairs of a deceased person and to distribute the person's assets to his or her intended beneficiaries. However, in many cases, the process of distributing property from a trust or estate is never as simple as it may seem. Often, the way a will or trust has been written or the way that a will or trust is being administered can result in many conflicts, even among the closest of families.
Trust and estate litigation arises when disputes over the terms or administration of a trust or will need to be resolved in court due to disagreement of the interested parties which cannot otherwise be resolved. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as conflicting opinions over the interpretation of a trust or will, disputes over the validity of documents (will contest/trust contest), improper conduct by a trustee/executor, or even improper conduct by a beneficiary (such as living in trust or estate property without permission).
Litigation is expensive, but if you seek counsel early enough it can minimize the likelihood of the expensive and lengthy litigation process involved with trust and estates. Most trust and estate disputes can be resolved by simply sharing information and engaging in a meaningful discussion to resolve it. Handling such matters this way can expedite the completion of the administration and save you tens of thousands of dollars by reaching a settlement which provides clarity and closure.
We handle the following Trust and Estate litigation matters:
- Pursuing Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty: We assist clients in the investigation, communications, and ultimately bringing claims against trustees and executors for improperly distributing assets, misappropriation of assets, failure to account, and breach of fiduciary duty claims (breach of trust).
- Defending Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty: At times, administration seems all but too easy, and then beneficiaries begin to dispute your actions, or challenge and second-guess your every move. Whether your conduct is wrongful or not, it is important to consult with legal counsel to ensure that you protect your rights, and are in compliance with your legal obligations.
- Will and Trust Contests: We assist in both the prosecution, or defense, of will and trust contests. These often involve a situation where the testator of the will or settlor of the trust (deceased person) was incapacitated during their lifetime, or was otherwise unduly influenced, to modify his or her estate planning documents (will, trust, codicil, amendment, restatement, etc.) in a way which they otherwise would not have done. Whatever the reason for the dispute, it is important to have legal representation as soon as possible to properly handle the matter.
If you are experiencing a dispute regarding a trust and/or estate, you should contact our office to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your situation. During your consultation, an experienced attorney at Giammichele Law, APC will discuss your situation and the potential options you have.