Estate Litigation

In our estate litigation practice we represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all types of proceedings and disputes. We strive to minimize the financial and emotional impacts of litigation by maintaining close working relationships with clients, by educating clients on the issues, and by involving clients in important strategic decisions.

In general, probate litigation encompasses any estate related need for resolution which can be ordered by the probate court.  Common litigation matters include bringing or defending the following:

  • Will and Trust contests
  • Enforcement of Beneficiary Rights
  • Removal or Recovery of Assets
  • Compelling and Contesting Accounts
  • Removal of Trustee or Executor
  • Surcharge of Trustee or Executor
  • Financial Elder Abuse

The decision to pursue litigation in the probate court should not be taken lightly.  While some matters can be resolved in a matter of months, most litigation cases exceed a year and it is not uncommon for a case to take several years.  After the parties have conducted discovery to gather all available information and evidence, almost all such matters are resolved through mediation and settlement negotiation.  There is truth to the old joke that you know it is a good settlement when none of the clients are happy with it.

Your Initial Consultation:  We always do an initial consultation without charge or sales pressure to discuss your matter.  By the end of that initial meeting we will have the information we need to prepare a strategic plan and you will have the information you need for your decision to retain us.  Retainer agreements may be made on either an hourly rate or contingency fee basis.  We always encourage potential clients to feel free to shop around to compare styles and validate the competitiveness of our rates.  You will receive the follow-up letter and proposed services agreement by mail a few days later.  Contact us now to schedule a phone consult or a meeting at one of our convenient east bay offices.

A Simple Philosophy:  Our estate litigation philosophy is simply this: (1) you should be made aware of and educated on all of the legal issues pertinent to your matter; (2) you should be kept informed of litigation progress and kept involved in decision making; (3) the litigation should proceed as promptly as circumstances permit; and (4) we should exceed your service expectations.