Will and Trust Contests
Every will and trust contest involves different, unique facts that can greatly impact the outcome and chances of a case. In will and trust contests, our law firm typically represents potential heirs who have been disinherited or defends the actions of a trustee or personal representative. Our law firm is able to address every type of will trust contest, including:
- Undue influence: A will is not valid if it was signed under “undue influence,” such as when the person signing the will is controlled or dominated by another.
- Lack of capacity: If the deceased did not have proper capacity to execute his or her will, the will is not valid.
- Technical defects in the will: Every will must conform to a number of legal requirements. The failure to do so can invalidate the will.
- Allegations of forgery or the existence of conflicting wills: Our lawyers will do the investigation necessary to get to the heart of the matter.
Trusts are a useful estate vehicle designed to protect assets and preserve wealth. The trustee of a trust has a fiduciary duty to the trust’s beneficiaries. These fiduciary duties generally include a duty to invest and manage the assets prudently, a duty of impartiality, a duty of loyalty, a duty to refrain from self-dealing, and other important duties. We have brought successfully numerous actions against Fiduciaries for misconduct, removal and surcharge (so they do not inherit any of their share).
Many trust disputes arise when one family member, often a son or daughter, is named the trustee of the family trust. When the trustee engages in self-dealing, fraud or otherwise mismanages the trust, he or she is in violation of his or her fiduciary duties. For instance, a trustee should not sell trust assets to his or her own business for less than fair market value. Other types of trust litigation could involve accounting issues, conflict of interests, the validity of a trust, or other types of mismanagement.
When there is an imbalance of resources between the parties, the party with fewer resources may not be able to take a case through to its conclusion. A party with limited resources may not even bring an otherwise valid claim because it cannot pay for a lawyer. At Schlesinger and Associates, we offer flexible fee arrangements. We regularly accept will/trust contests and other probate litigation on a contingent fee basis. As a result, our clients are able to have exceptional representation without worrying about attorneys’ fees during the pendency of their cases