The goal of every attorney is to keep their client out of costly and time-consuming litigation. Fortunately, most legal disputes can be resolved without the need for – and expense of—litigation. There are times, however, when litigation cannot be avoided. If you find yourself involved in a dispute that may be headed for litigation involving the probate of an estate or the administration of a trust, it is in your best interest to retain the services of a Probate and Trust Litigation attorney.
Probate is the legal process that is typically required following an individual’s death in order to ensure that creditors have an opportunity to file claims, taxes owed to the government are paid, and the decedent’s assets are transferred to the intended beneficiaries and/or heirs of the estate. Emotions tend to run high during the probate of an estate given that the primary participants in the process have recently lost a loved one. As such, there are a number of opportunities for disputes to turn into litigation during the probate of an estate. Some common causes of probate litigation include:
- Challenging the appointment of the Personal Representative
- Will contests
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Denial of creditor claim
- Gift and estate tax disputes
After a Last Will and Testament, a trust agreement is among the most popular estate planning tools. A trust can help with a wide range of estate planning goals, including probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and asset protection. A trust can even be used in place of a Will as the primary instrument for the distribution of estate assets after death. One things all trusts have in common is a Trustee, appointed by the Settlor, to oversee the administration of the trust. Examples of disputes that could lead to litigation during trust administration include:
- Challenging the validity of the trust itself
- Contesting the validity of a trust amendment
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Disputes over termination of the trust
- Attempts to force distributions
Why Is It Important to Retain a Probate & Trust Litigation Attorney?
Anytime a dispute arises, the goal of both the client and attorney should be to resolve the dispute without the need for actual litigation. Consequently, most attorneys focus the majority of their time and energy on avoiding litigation. Sometimes, however, despite everyone’s best efforts to avoid litigation, a case ends up there anyway. At that point, you need an attorney who has the experience and skills necessary to handle that litigation because litigating a dispute involves a very different approach and mindset. If your legal issues involve a probate or trust dispute, the best thing you can do for yourself, and for the future of that dispute, is to retain a Probate and Trust Litigation attorney
If you foresee the potential need to litigate a probate or trust matter, you should highly consider consulting with the Probate and Trust Litigation attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P.. Contact the team today by calling (281) 759-3213 or fill out our online contact form.