Despite the best intentions, many times related parties struggle to find common ground during the challenging time of an estate plan execution. Private wealth disputes can be complex and emotional matters involving important legal and financial considerations. At Flannery | Georgalis, our first approach is always to work towards a settlement that meets our client’s interests, but we are ready and prepared to advocate for our clients should it reach the point of litigation. We regularly handle all types of estate, trust, and probate disputes including:
Will/Trust Contests and Disputes
These cases often result from undue influence over the deceased by another in order to obtain an unfair share of the estate or trust; a family member taking advantage of the lack of capacity of the deceased to create or modify a will or trust; or instances of fraud and elder abuse.
Estate and Trust Administration Disputes
These matters often involve the mishandling of an estate or trust by the executor or trustee. A lack or failure of communication is a common theme. We regularly counsel clients regarding their rights as beneficiaries, time limits in estate and trust disputes, and the duties and responsibilities of serving as an executor or trustee.
Misappropriation of Funds and Fiduciary Malfeasanc
Executors and trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to faithfully manage the assets of a trust or estate for the good of the beneficiaries. Failure to do so is a breach of their fiduciary duty. Other fiduciary breaches include agents who act under a power of attorney and abuse that power relating to bank accounts and other financial instruments. Our Team handles cases involving the removal and replacement of fiduciaries and regularly conducts investigations into allegations that a fiduciary, executor or trustee has misappropriated the funds of an estate that he or she was appointed to protect.
The elderly may be targets of wrongdoing by family members and other individuals. Misappropriating funds with a power of attorney, improper changing of bank account registrations and beneficiary designations are all-too-common types of abuse. Our attorneys have investigated and filed claims in many cases involving fraud and dishonesty against the elderly.
Private Settlement Agreements
Our Team handles family disputes of all kinds. In many instances, the primary goal is to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation. In these situations, we are often successful mediating, and counseling emotionally charged family situations and negotiating and preparing private settlement agreements.