Probate litigation involves situations in which there is a dispute over someone's Will, Trust, or assets. Sometimes, after a loved one passes on, a person learns he or she was wrongfully written out of a Will or Trust by someone else, or they believe they did not receive assets that should have gone to him/her. Other times, a person is wrongfully accused of working to get someone else written out of a Will or Trust. There are also instances in which the person who passed on did not have the mental capacity to legally make changes to his or her Will or Trust. If any of these situations apply to you, you need one of our experienced attorneys to help protect your rights.
This occurs when someone has been wrongfully excluded from a Will. These cases often involve an Executor or another person who pressures and/or unduly influences the person making the Will to exclude a loved one. We can help prosecute or defend Will contests and claims of lack of capacity, incompetence, undue influence, fraud, and duress. If you have concerns about the validity of a Will, give us a call.
Trust contests are similar to Will contests. They often involve defending or prosecuting Trust issues for beneficiaries, trustees, grantors, and others who have an interest in the disputed Trust. We also can help with determining the validity of a Trust, interpreting Trusts, pursuing claims against Trustees for failing to account to the Trust's beneficiaries, and many other Trust-related issues.
If you believe someone close to you was wrongfully pressured or influenced into giving his/her property away, we can help recover any wrongfully-taken items. Common issues in this area include determining the validity of gifts and transfers of title to assets (including real estate and personal property, bank accounts, investment portfolios and retirement funds, or other assets); determining the rights of beneficiaries; and investigating claims of lack of capacity, fraud, duress, and undue influence.
Occasionally, a person is either physically or cognitively too ill to handle his/her own affairs. Under such circumstances, a Power of Attorney may be granted, which allows another person to make important financial and/or healthcare decisions for the ill individual. Unfortunately, some people abuse the rights and responsibilities they have as Power of Attorney over the ill individual. We have considerable experience with Power of Attorney disputes, including determining the rights and duties of the Power of Attorney holder; pursuing breach of fiduciary claims; rectifying Power of Attorney abuse; and investigating medical and psychiatric issues involving Powers of Attorney.
People sometimes designate others to receive assets (such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, etc.) through the use of a designation of beneficiary. Unfortunately, individuals occasionally scheme to get the designation of beneficiary changed so they are the named beneficiary (to the exclusion of the proper beneficiary). This type of case usually involves issues associated with capacity, incompetence, undue influence, fraud, duress, mistake, as well as medical and psychiatric issues. We can defend and prosecute issues concerning changes of beneficiaries to help ensure you receive the assets which were meant to go to you.
Fiduciaries include Executors, Administrators, Powers of Attorney, Guardians, Trustees, and others who have legal, fiduciary duties to work in the best interests of someone else. We can represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries with issues associated with the designation, appointment, and removal of fiduciaries; self dealing; and accounting and record keeping.
These cases arise when someone wrongfully took and/or hid assets of someone else to our client's detriment. If someone has wrongfully hidden the assets of another, we can help recover those items. We also defend those wrongfully accused of concealing assets.