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Estate, Trust, Probate and Guardianship Litigation

Conflict is never pleasant. When the “fight” is between family members, the emotional and economic stakes are intensified. Unfortunately, there are often situations when a Will or Trust is signed by someone who was not “competent” to execute those documents; or worse yet, influenced (often) by a family member into inappropriate, unfair and slanted choices. Often someone has taken over for the now deceased person, whether before or after his or her death, and acted inappropriately with the assets. Is all the money accounted for? Has that person rendered annual accountings to everyone who is a beneficiary of the Will/Trust? Does it seem like their conduct is self-serving? Is your loved one’s Will/Trust being interpreted and administered correctly?

It is critical to engage counsel who truly understands trust and estate litigation. The attorneys at Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun, LLP (“CSBB”), have a comprehensive understanding of estate litigation as a result of our extensive estate and tax planning experience. Since our attorneys are versed both in drafting and in litigation, we are keenly aware of the correct and appropriate provisions of estate planning documents that will be interpreted, as well as the multitude of tax consequences resulting from disposition of assets, litigation settlements, and other fallout from family controversy. This breadth of knowledge is critical to properly assess and evaluate the proper course of action in any estate/trust dispute, whether from the perspective of a beneficiary or a fiduciary; without a rigorous evaluation of the facts and circumstances, one can unwittingly end up with an unintended and disastrous outcome.

Sometimes an even more heartbreaking situation involves situations where a loved one is losing capacity resulting in a Guardianship or Conservatorship proceeding. What steps do you take if someone is taking advantage of a loved one? The rules here are very tricky and, if handled improperly, an incapacitated person can be lost in the system for years, and their assets lost forever. It is important to be efficient, choose the right Guardians and make sure the ward’s assets are marshaled correctly so that they are used both for the ward’s benefit and preserved for the family after the ward’s demise. Again, proper evaluation of every aspect of your loved one’s personal and financial situation is required.

At CSBB, we handle a select number of complex trust, estate and guardianship litigation matters. Additionally, we serve as certified mediators in Estate, Trust and Probate Litigation. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your matter and, candidly, advise you of your legal rights.

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