Legal Representation for Estate, Probate, and Trust Litigation
Occasionally, financial disputes arise with respect to a will or trust or the administration of a will or trust. A will or trust is typically drafted to benefit family members, friends, and other loved ones of the person who created the will or trust. Unfortunately, the desire for a greater financial gain may influence a person to wrongfully take assets that should be distributed to others under a will or trust, even from his or her own family and friends. The wrongful taking of assets may occur over a period of many years and may be difficult to trace if the person who took the assets is sufficiently sophisticated. The person engaged in wrongdoing might be the executor or administrator of an estate, the trustee of a trust, or another beneficiary of an estate or trust. We have the knowledge and experience to help a victim in this type of situation to stop the wrongful taking of assets, trace the flow of money and other property that was wrongly taken, and obtain the return of the assets or financial compensation for the wrongly taken assets.
Conversely, the executor or administrator of an estate or the trustee of a trust may find himself or herself wrongly accused of mismanaging the estate or trust or of misappropriating funds, despite his or her own best efforts to manage the estate or trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. We defend fiduciaries who find themselves in this regrettable situation.
Our Experience in Estate and Trust Litigation
Our law firm provides excellent legal representation in complex estate, probate, trust, and related litigation to:
- Beneficiaries and heirs;
- Executors, trustees, administrators, and personal representatives; and
- Estates and trusts.
Common types of disputes that arise in estate and trust cases include caveats, challenges to the validity of wills and codicils, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and disputes regarding the construction of wills, codicils, and trusts.
Our experience regarding caveats and challenges to the validity of wills and codicils includes allegations that the testator lacked testamentary capacity, allegations that the testator’s execution of the will or codicil was obtained by undue influence, duress, fraud in the inducement, or fraud in the execution, and allegations that the will or codicil was not executed in compliance with legal formalities. Edwin Schklar won Georgia’s most notable caveat case in the Supreme Court of Georgia for plaintiffs and succeeded in invalidating a will obtained through undue influence and with a testator who also lacked testamentary capacity. See Sullivan v. Sullivan, 273 Ga. 130, 539 S.E. 2d 120 (2000).
We help our clients resolve disputes regarding the construction of wills, codicils, and trusts, which may arise when provisions in such documents are vague, ambiguous, or contradictory. When such disputes arise, our clients oftentimes benefit from our advice regarding potential legal malpractice claims against the attorney who drafted the will or codicil.
Our experience also includes claims against fiduciaries regarding the management of estates and trusts, such as claims of breach of fiduciary duty, conflict of interest, self-dealing, breach of the duty of care, and failure to properly protect, invest, or distribute property held by the estate or trust.
Additional Information Regarding Probate and Trust Litigation
For more information from the Georgia estate, probate, and trust litigation attorneys of Schklar & Heim, LLC regarding issues that may affect you, please see the below topics:
- Invalidating a Will Because of Undue Influence
- Invalidating a Will Because of a Lack of Testamentary Capacity
- Wrongful Taking of Assets from Those Who are Most Vulnerable