Litigating disputed estates is a central component of this office's practice. Disputes over a decedent's estate may arise for a variety of reasons. For instance, conflicts may develop between beneficiaries, executors, trustees, and agents acting pursuant to a power of attorney. Consequently, some cases are litigated in probate court, while others are pursued in chancery.
Contested estates and trusts are subject to a wide variety of local rules and procedure, an expansive landscape of case law, and the applicable provisions of our probate act and related laws. This office accepts a contested matter only after a careful review of the facts and issues involved. Each matter is given individual attention and diligent preparation. Litigation is billed at an hourly rate with a retainer required at the outset.
Trust litigation is also a keystone of this office. As more people implement trusts in their estate plans, more beneficiaries are bringing actions against trustees for breach of fiduciary duty, accounting, and removal.
Some cases focus on the underlying estate plan itself. Meaning, an heir at law may retain our office to dispute the purported Will or Trust due to the testator's incapacity or due to apparent undue influence or fraud. Moreover, in rare instances, some estate-planning documents lack the proper statutory formalities required by law.