Will Contests and Estate Litigation
When a person dies and leaves a Last Will and Testament which was not validly executed with the formalities of law or which was executed by the testator (now decedent) when he/she lacked mental capacity or which was obtained from the testator by someone who exercised undue influence (someone caused the testator to draft a will which he/she would not have done but for the other person’s influence), the Last Will and Testament can be challenged. Sometimes, beneficiaries may have a need for their own legal counsel to ensure proper administration of an estate by a personal representative.
Trust Estate Litigation
Beneficiaries of a trust who have been adversely affected by improper actions of a trustee may have a cause of action against the trustee. There may also be a need for legal actions regarding administration of a trust, construction of a trust’s language, breach of a fiduciary duty by the trustee, actions to remove a trustee, and actions for an accounting of a trust.
Small Estate Planning
Every person should consider making plans for what he/she wants in the event of his/her illness, incapacity and death. We can assist with Durable Powers of Attorney (to handle financial and business matters only while a person is alive)(note the law substantially changed on October 1, 2011); Health Care Surrogates (a person’s choice of who will act for his/her in the event of temporary or long term illness or incapacity); Living Wills (whether a person wishes to be kept alive artificially if the doctors determine nothing else can be done); Last Will and Testament (formal declaration of what a person wants to happen with his/her possessions after death); and Revocable Living Trusts (a instrument which creates a separate entity to hold and handle real and personal property during a person’s lifetime and disposition after death).