Living Trusts are legal documents used to transfer assets from one party to another through a third party called a trustee. While this arrangement may seem simple, disagreements between beneficiaries and trustees can make the process difficult, especially with valuable assets involved, leading to disputes between the parties. At First Class Counsel, we handle a variety of trust and estate disputes, including complex will and trust contests, breach of fiduciary duties and removal of fiduciaries. Our attorneys have handled many cases involving will and trust interpretation, construction and reformation. Other issues such as lack of mental capacity, fraud, duress and undue influence are also common disputes requiring litigation. We specialize in Probate litigation and estate litigation involving determination of, and challenges to heirship.
Pursuing trust litigation may help you recover losses due to neglect, dishonesty, or errors in the interpretation of the terms of a trust.
Beneficiaries under the terms of a trust rely on the competence and honesty of others to enjoy the full benefit of their rights. When a trustee’s performance falls short of what is required under the law, the beneficiaries are entitled to bring claims in probate court. We litigate on behalf of beneficiaries and people interested in an estate or trust when the trustee, personal representative, attorney in fact or other fiduciary has violated his or her duty. Disputes commonly arise when trustees fail to properly account to the beneficiaries and or manage the assets. Often times trustees misinterpret their duties under the governing instrument and under the law.
Creditor claims may also be a common cause of trust litigation. Protecting your trust from overzealous opportunists is absolutely critical, especially for those who depend on their trust to maintain their lifestyle. Beneficiaries often pursue litigation in an effort to protect their assets from creditors who may seek to make a claim against their trust. Trust litigation can be extremely confusing and stressful. The laws associated with this type of litigation are often complex and can be difficult to comprehend. If you need a proactive, knowledgeable, and effective Litigation team to fight for your rights, contact our firm for a review of your current situation, so we can discuss your options.
Mediation is an effective and powerful dispute resolution that may be used in favor of litigation. It is private, and less time-consuming, maintains the confidentiality aspect of the trustee-beneficiary relationship while lending more objectivity to the situation. The mediator assists and guides the parties toward their own resolution. He/she does not decide the outcome, but helps the parties understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a resolution. The mediator’s goal is to clarify the issues and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case. The mediator also offers creative approaches and innovative solutions, while maintaining an unbiased perspective. A mediator has a duty to avoid a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict of interest, conduct a mediation in a fair and unbiased manner, to make reasonable inquiries to determine any potential conflicts and to maintain the confidentiality of a mediation. Some people can become furious over matters of wealth transferring, mediation can be used as a tool to manage anger. A resolution or compromise achieved through mediation is non-binding and must be carried through with good faith. Unfortunately, it could still be repudiated by either party. It is therefore essential in a good mediation that both parties come to the floor open-minded and willing to at least speak civilly.
With extensive experience handling inheritance litigation issues, we are able to use our experience to advise and represent you and your family members.
If we are unable to resolve a dispute with informal discussions or through alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation or arbitration, we will represent you aggressively in court. Routinely we use negotiation, mediation and arbitration to handle probate litigation and trust disputes. We often design creative solutions that protect our clients’ interests without the need for a full trial.
Our trust litigation attorneys communicate in a clear and understandable manner. We will take the time to make certain you are aware of all of the details of your case. When you have a decision to make, you will be fully aware of the possible outcomes related to each option that is available to you. Our litigation attorneys advise and represent parties throughout California who have issues with the probate of a will or the terms of a trust. Practicing in probate court, we focus on finding a path toward a favorable outcome that minimizes the amount of an estate that is lost to excessive litigation and accompanying expenses.
Our attorneys are here to represent you through will probate, will contests, estate litigation, trust litigation, tax litigation, and other lawsuits and disputes in all California venues and jurisdictions. We have extensive experience handling probate and trust litigation matters in California courts. We know the practice and procedures, allowing us to obtain results for our clients effectively and efficiently. Our seasoned trust litigation attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help you administer your loved one’s estate in the manner they would have wanted.
At First Class Counsel we use every tool at our disposal to help you and your loved ones get through difficult, trying times.