Estate & Probate Litigation Attorneys in Granite Bay, California
Challenging and Defending Cases Involving Trust and Estate Administration
Losing a loved one is difficult enough without the added stress of estate disputes. But sometimes, death has a way of bringing even more unpleasant things to light, and disgruntled family members may contest a will right after someone passes away.
At Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP, our team of attorneys has 30 years of combined experience in the field of estate planning and probate. If you are facing a legal dispute involving probate or the administration of a trust, we can provide the legal assistance you need during this challenging time.
Our goal is to protect you and your family, and we will work diligently to find the fastest and most cost-effective solution for such disputes. Typically, we will attempt to reach a settlement out of court, but in cases where this is not possible, you can count on us to engage in adversarial litigation to protect your estate plan.
Protecting Your Loved Ones’ Inheritance in Probate Litigation
Probate litigation may arise when a beneficiary of a will or an heir contests the will. In some situations, the dispute centers on the belief that the decedent executed the will while not of sound mind due to illness, mental incapacity, or because someone exerted undue influence upon him or her.
Other Common Causes of Probate Disputes Include:
A beneficiary does not receive the inheritance due to him or her
The beneficiary fails to fulfill fiduciary duties
A conflict arises regarding guardianships and conservatorships
The executor does not provide proper inventory to beneficiaries
Information about creditors is not disclosed
Our attorneys represent parties on either side of the issue, whether you need to contest a will or if you have been appointed as an estate administrator and need to defend against the claims of heirs or creditors. We are prepared to fight for your interests and present evidence to support your side of the claim.
Protecting Your Interests in Trust Litigation
We also help clients who are in dispute regarding the administration of a trust. Trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of a trust. If you are the beneficiary of a trust and are concerned that the trustee may not be acting properly or fulfilling his or her fiduciary duties, we can review the situation in order to determine whether you have grounds for legal action.
Common Situations that Lead to Trust Litigation Include:
Violations of the provisions of the trust
Failure to properly invest the funds in the trust
Mismanagement of trust funds
Breaches of fiduciary duty
Misappropriation or concealment of funds
In addition to representing trust beneficiaries, we also assist trustees who are facing allegations of bad faith conduct or errors in trust administration.
At Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP, we are committed to helping families involved in often complex and emotionally taxing trust disputes to reach an agreeable solution and mitigate any unnecessary stress.
Due to recent medical advances, Americans are living longer now than ever before. For this reason, it is no longer uncommon for people to reach an age where they become both physically and mentally incapable of managing their affairs. Appointing a third party into a conservatorship role can help alleviate any concerns related to such circumstances.
A conservator is a person appointed by a judge to protect the interests of another person, usually an elderly adult or disabled individual. The conservator may manage only either or all of the living arrangements, financial, medical, and daily affairs of the individual, according to the provisions of the conservatorship.
Why Is Litigation Necessary to Pursue Conservatorship?
In the state of California, the conservator relationship is determined by a judge. A person cannot step in and take over someone else's financial affairs without a court order. There are three different types of conservatorships recognized by California law:
Conservatorship of the person
Conservatorship of the estate
Conservatorship of the person and estate
Although a spouse or other family member is often the person appointed as a conservator, this relationship is not a prerequisite in California. A concerned individual can petition the court for conservatorship in which he or she sets out the reasons why a conservatorship is necessary. After the petition is filed, the court schedules a hearing. Notice of the proceedings must be given to certain individuals by law, and the conservatee (the elderly or incapacitated adult) or the conservatee’s family may object to the appointment.
It is not uncommon for conservatees to be taken advantage of or fall victim to unscrupulous activities by their conservators. For these reasons, a conservatorship may be contested and require litigation.
The conservatorship may be contested if other family members strongly disagree that a certain person should be appointed as a conservator, or if they wish to remove an already existing conservator, especially if they suspect the elderly adult is being taken advantage of.
Contact a Trust and Estate Litigator Before It's Too Late
You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim. If the deadline passes, you will not have any recourse in the courts to settle your dispute. Failing to take action now can deprive you of your fair share of the estate. If you are being accused of mismanagement of probate or a trust, it is important that you seek legal help to help you avoid serious legal penalties.
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