Probate, Trust & Fiduciary Representation
“All say – ‘ How hard it is that we have to die’ – a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.”
– Mark Twain
Walton & Walton assists trustees, executors, guardians, fiduciaries and beneficiaries in resolving a myriad of estate, trust, and fiduciary disputes involving complex and sophisticated legal and tax issues. The firm’s Probate, Trust, and Fiduciary Litigation group is a dedicated and diverse group of nationally recognized attorneys with subject-matter experience in all aspects of complex probate, trust, and fiduciary litigation. Our practice combines the firm’s extensive knowledge and experience of its nationally renowned trusts and estates professionals with the outstanding courtroom talents, resourcefulness and proven ability of its trial attorneys. Our attorneys maintain the highest ethical standards when dealing with these sensitive and personal matters.
Our attorneys have extensive knowledge and previous experience regarding a multitude of local court, rules, practice codes, and procedures, and are also able to navigate delicate situations that arise in disputed matters pertaining to all types of fiduciary relationships including the following:
Executors and Administrators
Corporate and Individual Trustees
Guardians and Conservators
Individual and Corporate Fiduciaries
Members of Limited Liability Companies
Family Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
Subchapter S Companies
Public and Private Charities or Charitable Foundations
We represent clients in a broad range of disputed matters, including estate tax and administration issues, income and estate and gift tax disputes, suits to remove executors and trustees, closely held business disputes, and conflicts arising from all types of fiduciary relationships.
We also represent clients in regard to claims of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, tortious interference with inheritance and contract, and conflicts of interest against executors, agents acting under powers of attorney, as well as individual and corporate trustees. The group's experience also covers a spectrum of tax and other litigation, including closely held business disputes, business succession, valuation disputes, and income and estate tax disputes.
We represent corporate and individual trustees, and income and remainder beneficiaries, in cases involving trust interpretation, trust reformation, propriety of trust investments, asset allocation, and self-dealing. Trust disputes also can include questions as to the validity of the trust based on allegations of forgery, fraud, undue influence and/or lack of testamentary capacity. Trust litigation also consists of pursuit and defense of surcharge actions and petitions to remove trustees.
Walton & Walton’s practice goal is to approach each case individually and on a personal basis. Careful case assessment and precisely defined litigation plans allow for the optimization of case outcomes. We advise our clients in the most sensitive and cost-effective manner based on their individual situations. Our representation is driven by our clients’ needs and best interests. To that end, we evaluate each case with our clients' goals in mind. In both, amicable or adverse disputes, our attorneys are sensitive to each client’s situation and prepare the most effective, and cost-effective, strategy for positive and beneficial of case outcomes. We understand that business relationships, family connections, and productivity are impacted by the stress of litigation. As a result, we are comfortable litigating, but we also seek to resolve disputes through value- added settlements. To that end, because we are knowledgeable about the tax consequences of estates and trusts and all manner of businesses, we are well-positioned to create unique and efficient settlements that meet the needs of our clients.
Our Practice Area's Experience
Attorneys in Walton & Walton’s Fiduciary Litigation Practice assist individuals and families with multiple legal needs on a national basis, including:
Proceedings involving Wills and Trusts
Petitions for the Construction, Reformation and Modification of Trusts
Petitions for Trustee Instructions
Proceedings involving Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings
Proceedings for the Partition and Division of Trust Assets
Proceedings to Clarify and Resolve Tax Controversies
Proceedings for Charitable and Marital Estate Tax Deductions
Proceedings involving Charitable Trusts
Proceedings to Enforce Joint and Mutual Wills
Proceedings to Consolidate or Divide Trusts
Proceedings to Change Situs or Venue of Fiduciary Litigation
Trust and Estate Accounting Proceedings
Proceedings to Determine Ownership of Assets
Arbitration and Mediation Proceedings involving Estates and Trusts
Implementation of Non-Judicial Dispute Resolution Agreements
Proceedings for Shareholder Succession and Suppression Disputes
Cohabitation and Prenuptial Agreements