Estate & Trust Litigation

When disputes arise involving the execution of a will or trust, litigation is often necessary to insure that the intentions of the person who made the will or established the trust are met.  Unfortunately all too often wills and trusts fall victim to dishonest lawyers, greedy family members, unethical caregivers and unscrupulous trustees, leaving the rightful beneficiaries with less than or none of their intended legacy.

The Deckard Law Firm has handled a multitude of estate & trust disputes resulting from and including, but not limited to the following causes:

  • Violations of fiduciary duties
  • Mental incapacity
  • Undue influence
  • Fraud
  • Improper transfer of assets
  • Trustee and/or executor mismanagement of the trust or estate
  • Heirs whose inheritance is being challenged

If you are planning to contest a will, we will need to determine if you have what is called “standing”, which will be determined by the court. This could mean that you are designated an heir; or that you believe you should have been named in the will.  The legalities of standing are complex, and our expert attorneys will be able to assess your circumstances and determine if you are eligible to challenge the will.

In addition to standing, you can only contest a will on valid reasoning.  Once validity of your claim is determined we may be able to restore your rights without ever filing a lawsuit.  Should a lawsuit become necessary, you need to know that the lawyers you are relying upon will serve your interests in a competent, professional manner.  The Deckard Law Firm has earned the highest possible ratings  AV from both our clients and peers for our attorneys high ethical standards, competence and professionalism  

Most people find that the weeks and months following a decision to contest a will are full of emotion and stress. Families may be angry at other family members. Our attorneys are noted for their thoughtful approach to clients in these trying times, while at the same time aggressively exerting their interests in the legal system.  Our goal is to use hard work and knowledge of the law to bring about a fair result, whether it is in court, through mediation, or in a settlement.

A trust is a relationship whereby property (real or personal, tangible or intangible) is held by one party for the benefit of another. There are two basic types of trusts: living trusts and testamentary trusts.  A living trust is set up during the person’s lifetime.  A testamentary trust is set up in a will and established only after the person’s death when the will goes into effect.  Living trusts can be either “revocable” or irrevocable.”

Trust litigation most frequently results from the same causes for which one would contest a will.  These disputes often involve family members and they can become emotionally charged.  In many cases a great portion of the trust is spent on lawyers who are hired to protect the interests of the beneficiaries.  For the past two decades The Deckard Law Firm has been helping beneficiaries protect their interests. The firm has also been retained by the trustees to protect the trust itself from dissatisfied and/or just greedy beneficiaries.  

Whether contesting a will or a trust The Deckard Law Firm will encourage all parties to the dispute to use the less costly alternatives to the court system for settlement.

We are pleased to be able to serve clients from Redding to Sacramento and Modesto as well as the San Francisco – San Jose Bay Area and as far south as Carmel, CA. 

 

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