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Trust & Estate Disputes and Controversies

In addition to estate planning and administration, The Van Winkle Law Firm works with clients considering or facing legal challenges or controversies regarding estates and trusts. Our team can assist individuals or entities with questions on a wide variety of issues including the interpretation of a will or a trust, compliance regarding fiduciary duties and obligations, handling of accounting, fees and trust and estate assets. Our practice group thoroughly analyzes matters and confers with our clients on the propriety of pursuing such claims. We make extensive use of mediation and other alternative means of dispute resolution, often before any litigation is commenced. Our firm also represents the interests of estates and beneficiaries against the government in connection with tax disputes, many of which are resolved through negotiation. Types of Services

  • Removal of Executors or Trustees
  • Declaratory Judgment Actions Regarding Interpretations of Trusts and Wills
  • Claims of Breach of Fiduciary Duties by Trustees or Executors
  • Representation of Trustees or Executors Facing Claims
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Practice Highlights

  • Instrumental in resolving the distribution of an estate worth more than $2.5 million where there was considerable confusion and uncertainty over the provisions of the descendant’s will and trust.
  • Recovered $350,000 for the beneficiaries of a trust where it was alleged the trustee had made inappropriate distributions from the trust.
  • Recovered more than $1 million for a trust involved in a dispute over a life insurance policy.
  • Preservation of an $800,000 inheritance for three daughters who were told their father had no assets at his death.