Disputes over wills and trusts is one of the most grueling types of Litigation. Disputes often arise in the administration of estates, often when there are complex family dynamic and disagreements over the distribution of assets. These disputes arise not only from between beneficiaries, but between beneficiaries and trustees, or even third parties.
A trustee’s management of trust assets could be challenged or the trust’s execution and terms may be challenged. This more often than not results in trust litigation. A trustee is held to a higher standard of accountability under the law. The trustee acts as fiduciary, he or she must put the interest of the trust and the beneficiaries ahead of his or her own interests. Trustees are placed under scrutiny by those persons who established the trust, beneficiaries, and the court.
Trust Claims often include:
* Failure to distribute assets
* Inadequate or irregular distributions of funds
* Mismanagement of trust assets
* Diversion of assets to the trustee
* Questions regarding the validity of a trust due to undue influence or lack of capacity.
If you have questions or concerns regarding a trust or how it is being manages, or you are the trustee facing a legal challenge, we can help. Often there is deep rooted conflict between family members. We understand this dynamic and work to help our clients resolve these disputes as amicably as possible. When that fails, we as experienced litigators fight for and protect our client’s rights.
Litigation is risky, complex, and time consuming. Litigation of a trust dispute may be long arduous, or quick and smooth. We focus exclusively on litigation, combining effective resolution with successful trial advocacy.
We have a long and successful track record in estate litigation
Often the probate process is complicated and confusing. It consumes time and energy, especially after the passing of a loved one. We are experienced in navigating the probate system and can manage the process so the estate can be resolved as quickly and with the least expense possible.
When a person passes without a trust in place (i.e., with just a testamentary will, or without a will (intestate)), Disposition of the deceased person’s estate are handled through the probate process.
When a loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves, we help families care for them. A conservator may be appropriate when an adult family member can no longer care for themselves. This conservator is named to oversee their affairs.
A conservatorship can be established when a judge has determined that a person is not able to care for themselves and/or their finances. The judge appoints a person (the conservator) to handle the care and/or the finances of the conservatee. This conservator can be a family member, a friend, or even a professional. We help our clients navigate the process and understand the legal requirements and responsibilities of being a conservator.
There are conservatorships of estate and conservatorships of a person.
*When a person is named conservator of a person they are responsible for the conservatee’s care and protection, their residence, and the conservatee’s daily needs, including personal care, food, clothing, health care, transportation, and housekeeping.
* When a person is appointed as conservator of the estate they will manage the conservatee’s finances, protect the conservatee’s income and property, inventory everything in the estate and keep all financial records for the conservatee, provide financial reports to the interested parties and the court, apply for and pursue any governement benegfits the conservatee may be eligibel to receive, create4 a plan to ensure the conservatee;s needs are met, pay the conservatee’s bills and taxes.
These types of conservatorships can also be broken down into,
- Limited conservatorships, which apply to those with developmental disabilities who cannot fully care for themselves, but who do not need the higher level of care or help given under a general conservatorship.
- Temporary conservatorships are for those who need immediate help. A judge can decide whether a conservatorship is needed and if so whether that need is permanent or temporary for a specific time frame.