Probate & Estate Litigation
Probate and Estate Litigation
We focus exclusively on probate, estate and trust matters in the central valley. Our comprehensive understanding of how problems can occur in the probate and administration of an estate allows us to work knowledgeably with clients experiencing problems with a will, a trust, an heirship disagreement or an accounting issue, to name just a few of the many issues that can arise. Our experience in litigation gives us an advantage to advise our clients on how to avoid the common pitfalls that fiduciaries fall into and can occur. We will advise our clients on how to avoid such problems before they happen, to save time and expense.
If you need legal advice in order to dispute or defend a will, a trust, or some other aspect of a California estate, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Greg Roberts.
Here are some of the reasons why you may need litigation help:
- Will or trust contests: There are a number of reasons someone might dispute the validity of a will or trust, such as:
- Incompetence of the deceased to draft or change a will (for example, mental illness or dementia)
- Undue influence on the deceased by someone who would benefit from the will or trust, such as a caregiver or an adult child
- When forgery is suspected.
- Will or trust construction problems: In this instance, the heirs or executors/trustees are asking the court to clarify ambiguity in how the will or trust was written or how it should be implemented. Improper drafting of the document may make it invalid. Examples of will construction problems include:
- The will or trust naming a trustee, executor or beneficiaries who has already died
- The will or trust fails to name an executor or trustee.
- Executor or trustee challenges: In fiduciary litigation, we can challenge inappropriate actions of a trustee or executor, such as misuse of power of attorney, failing to make distributions, profiting personally from administering funds, or conflicts of interest.
- Removing a fiduciary: We assist heirs in protesting the appointment of a particular executor or trustee, or in seeking to remove an executor or trustee because of conflicts of interest, misconduct or incompetence.
- Accounting proceedings: If an heir questions investment policies or accounting procedures used in the management of a trust or estate, we assist with accounting proceedings to examine the financial records.
- Spousal rights and kinship proceedings: These proceedings establish or clarify inheritance rights and the validity of prenuptial and ante-nuptial agreements.
- No Contest Clause in a will. You can contest a will without evoking that clause and you are entitled to discovery and other evidentiary procedures that will assist us to make a determination if it is appropriate to contest the will or not. You do not have to blindly make that decision – we can get you all the information, facts and evidence you need to make a fully informed decision.
- Claims proceedings: We represent estates when claims have been made by creditors against the assets of an estate.
- We also deal with all kinds of trusts including: active and passive, constructive trust, insurance trust, declaration of trust, totten trusts, spendthrift, discretionary trusts, self-settled, future trusts and honorary trust and all others matters.
Call Us Today At ♦ (559) 431-6800
Clovis, CA 93612
Serving the greater Fresno area including Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties
Barrus and Roberts, PC