Trust & Probate Litigation
At Conrad & Scherer, our trust and probate litigation attorneys are highly skilled in all matters regarding wills, trusts, and other estate-related proceedings. We understand the importance of honoring your loved one’s wishes during their lives and after death, and we are prepared to represent you in a trust or probate case to see the testator’s desires for their estate come to fruition.
In selecting your attorney in a trusts and estates litigation matter, it is critical to select experienced counsel as these types of cases are fraught with procedural, ethical, and state and federal tax minefields.
Our attorneys combine their substantive knowledge of Florida’s laws governing the administration of testators’ estates, wills, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, and other fiduciary issues with years of experience trying cases before both judges and juries. We take a collaborative and analytical approach with other complex areas of law such as estate planning, real estate, bankruptcy, corporate, and securities law, as well as civil and appellate law to fulfill the intent of the testators’ last wishes.
Common Trust and Probate Services
We offer a range of trust and probate services to help families and estate representatives carry out the intended actions of will and trust agreements. Our specific services include:
- Trust litigation
- Probate litigation
- Will contests
- Will and trust construction
- Determination of beneficiaries
- Guardianship assistance
- Conservatorship guidance
We’re prepared to fight on your behalf through whatever method necessary to achieve a desirable outcome for your case, be it negotiation, mediation, or litigation and help you resolve what can be an extremely difficult and emotional experience.
A trust is a fiduciary legal relationship that allows a person to hold onto the assets or property of another person for a third party’s benefit.
If a trust is properly constructed within the parameters of Florida law, the third-party beneficiary receives assets once they become capable of managing those assets. However, trustees, who are responsible for managing a trust, sometimes mismanage the trust property. Trust litigation is the legal process of challenging a trust or a trustee to reflect the settlor’s wishes for the beneficiary.
If you believe the trustee is failing to uphold the fiduciary and express duties established by the settlor, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the trustee and have them removed. Specifically, you can file a claim if you believe the trustee is:
Failing to properly manage real estate or other real property
- Not sufficiently communicating with the beneficiary
- Not paying the trust’s debts
- Not investing assets according to the settlor’s wishes
- Not following explicit or implied instructions from the settlor
- Self-dealing or promoting the trustee’s own interests above the beneficiary’s interests
Probate is the process of submitting a will to a court for authentication and administration. Probate litigation is the legal process of contesting a will or otherwise seeking to rectify a wrong regarding a loved one’s wishes after death.
Probate litigation can involve challenging a testator’s last will and testament due to the belief that the will does not actually reflect the testator’s wishes upon their death. In some unfortunate circumstances, there are third parties who wrongfully influence a testator during their most vulnerable last days. Other cases involve the alleged misappropriation of funds in an estate or trust.
There are many grounds for contesting a will, such as:
- The testator was not competent to create the will due to mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse, memory loss, or other illnesses that affected the testator’s ability to understand their assets and where those assets would go upon death;
Another person forged the document, whether by fraudulently creating the document or changing the terms of the document on behalf of the testator without permission;
- Technical flaws in the creation of the will, such as the lack of witnesses or notarization or the failure to adhere to other legal requirements under Florida law.
- If you believe that a will is inaccurate or unrepresentative of the testator’s wishes due to any of the above reasons, our team of experienced attorneys can defend your case to amend or invalidate the will.
Contact our Trust and Probate Litigation Attorneys Today
Whether you need assistance contesting a trust or will, wish to remove a trustee from a trust relationship, or simply need assistance constructing or interpreting a will, our attorneys are available to support you. At Conrad & Scherer, we have helped numerous clients across the country resolve estate conflicts and fulfill the testator’s or settlor’s wishes.