Estate and Fiduciary Litigation

Probate litigation involves probate, trust and estate disputes. An experienced and aggressive litigation attorney is often needed to protect and vindicate legal rights. Attorney J. Michael Young is the author of Texas Probate Litigation, a blog devoted to estate and business litigation in Texas.

Our firm often works with estate planning and probate attorneys on contested estate matters. There are a variety of reasons to contest a will, trust, or a life insurance beneficiary designation in Texas:

  • If the deceased was suspected of being mentally incompetent at the time the will or designation was written
  • If it is suspected that the deceased was unduly influenced (or threatened) by someone who would directly or indirectly benefit from the will or beneficiary designation
  • If two or more contradictory wills exist and investigation yields inconclusive results as to which was the final legal will
  • If the will is suspected to be a forgery
  • If the will or trust was improperly written, was unclear, incomplete, or contradictory and therefore was not enforceable

We help clients when disputes come up regarding the administration of trusts and estates, such as trust validity, no-contest clauses, breach of trustee fiduciary duties, will and trust contests, statutory disqualification, characterization of property, apportionment of estate taxes, and many other issues, including how to contest a will in Texas.

  • Will Contests
  • Trust Disputes
  • Guardianships
  • Breaches of Fiduciary Responsibility
  • Allegations of Misconduct by Fiduciaries or Trustees
  • Life Insurance Disputes
  • Creditor Claims
  • Undue Influence Claims
  • Testamentary Capacity Disputes

Fiduciary litigation or fiduciary removal proceedings involve disputes over the management (or mismanagement) of an estate or trust, theft or embezzlement from an estate or trust, or the need to change or remove a trustee. Examples of claims of breach of fiduciary duty include:

  • Care givers or adult children who have financially benefited by misusing a financial power of attorney granted by of an elder relative
  • Trustees profiting personally from the management of a trust by accepting excessive compensation
  • Trustees embezzling from a trust for personal gain
  • Conflicts of interest between a trustee or administrator and beneficiaries

A probate or trust controversy can often pit family members against each other. To contest a will or a trust can require emotional resilience and patience, as well as determination. Our lawyers recognize the sensitive nature of such familial disputes and are committed to protecting our clients’ rights and interests. We approach each matter with a sensitivity and understanding of the family context in which these disputes arise, while never losing sight of our clients’ goals and legal rights.