Unfortunately, the transfer of wealth, whether through either the probate process or through trust administration, sometimes results in family disagreements and disputes. These disputes can involve various types of controversy: alleged mental incapacity of the person making the will (testator) or trust (grantor); alleged undue influence upon the testator or grantor by an heir or beneficiary; will or trust document interpretation or construction; improper conduct of personal representatives, trustees or beneficiaries; establishment or conveyance of jointly owned property; excessive fiduciary fees and more. All of these issues must be handled by a skilled lawyer.
The resolution of these disputes often requires the assistance of an attorney. Our law firm has a reputation for resolving such competing interests where possible, by providing aggressive advocacy services on behalf of a beneficiary or a fiduciary where necessary. These services may include:
- Meeting with you and/or your family to determine the nature and scope of the dispute, and whether the dispute may be resolved without court proceedings
- Counseling family members with respect to the probate court litigation procedures and possible outcomes, in order to establish realistic expectations
- Analyzing the factual and legal circumstances of your family situation and the dispute in order to determine the appropriate legal course of action to be taken
- Preparing the appropriate pleadings to best advocate your position before the probate court
- Performing necessary pretrial discovery, including preparing and answering interrogatories and requests for admission, and conducting depositions
- Preparing for adversary hearings and trials to best represent your interest before the probate court
- Representing your interest in probate court proceedings
- Preparing settlement documentation if the dispute is resolved
Litigation in the probate court requires a unique set of litigation skills coupled with the ability to counsel families. The litigators in our estate planning and probate practice group and litigation practice group have resolved routine and complex disputes in probate court on behalf of beneficiaries, personal representatives, trustees and other fiduciaries. As in other areas of the estate and probate practice, O'Reilly Rancilio uses its attorneys and staff in the most cost-effective way to bring about the best results in probate or trust litigation or adversarial proceedings.
Our probate and trust litigation attorneys include: