Estate Litigation

Estate litigation may involve a will, or a trust. Our attorneys have experience and skill in litigating all aspects of these kinds of disputes:

  • A beneficiary or someone denied inheritance, contesting the distribution of an estate
  • The designated heirs needing representation because a will or trust is being challenged
  • A trustee or executor is being challenged and requires legal services

Are you involved in, or considering estate litigation?
Call 408-971-4359 to arrange a consultation with an experienced attorney regarding your circumstances

Our firm offers a record of success. Whether you are an heir, an executor or an aggrieved party, call us to arrange a time to discuss your issues with one of our attorneys. This session will enable us to evaluate your circumstances and present your legal options. We strive for forceful advocacy while providing the personal support you may need to get through a difficult time.

The legal issues involved in estate litigation vary depending upon whether the dispute centers on a will, or a trust. However, there are certain common factors that can be involved:

Undue influence: It is an unfortunate situation when a person drawing up their will, or arranging a trust, is taken advantage of by someone close to them. This influence may affect who is named an heir, who is executor or trustee, and other factors that can result in challenges to the validity of the documents.

Lack of mental capacity: Estate litigation frequently arises out of questions of a person’s mental state when he or she was in the process of having a will written or a trust prepared. As an example, we know now that the impact of Alzheimer’s disease is apparent long before it devolves into dementia. Was the person – the “testator” – of sound mind? Was there mental illness? Were they impaired by alcohol or drugs? These are complicated questions and their resolution requires skilled, experienced legal advice.

Fraud: In estate litigation, claims of fraud may involve alteration or forgery of the documents, or fraud involving the accounting of assets. Trustees, executors and attorneys may be accused of handling an estate in an illegal or fraudulent manner. Misinformation to the testator may also result in a contested will or challenged trust.

Disputes involving trustees or executors: A will names an executor. A trust designates a trustee. Anyone in the position of administering, managing and representing an estate is required to act in the best interest of the person who named them as their representative. Estate litigation may involve allegations that this legal responsibility was breached; that there was mismanagement, theft, or self-interest. In such cases, heirs may bring suit and require legal representation. An executor or trustee will benefit from legal advice and care as well.

A will may be false or there may be another will, or a later will. The validity of a will or a trust can be challenged through estate litigation. It is a complex legal matter.

If you are the executor, trustee or a beneficiary of an estate that is being contested; if you want to challenge a will or trust that you believe is invalid, we recommend you consult with an experienced probate litigator. So much can go wrong in these types of situations.

This is a dedicated area of practice in our law firm.

Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in estate litigation
Call 408-971-4359 to schedule a consultation

We are available to represent you in estate litigation in San Jose, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Milpitas.

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