Stuart Law Firm Represents Clients in Probate and Trust Litigation
Skilled Florida attorneys help to enforce terms in estate documents
The experienced probate litigation attorneys at McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A. in Stuart assist estate representatives, trustees and beneficiaries in all types of cases stemming from conflicts over wills and trusts. Unfortunately, when emotional and financial stakes are high — as they so often are in these cases — disputes can become bitter and costly. Although our firm seeks to handle these matters amicably, we are fully prepared to raise trust administration contests and to take probate matters to court when necessary.
Proven advocates assist with all types of will contests
Numerous types of allegations can be lodged in probate cases if someone believes that estate assets are not being distributed in the way that the decedent intended. Our accomplished probate litigators assist personal representatives and potential heirs in cases stemming from charges of:
- Undue influence — Elderly people and those who suffer from severe illnesses may be vulnerable to exploitation. Undue influence occurs when a friend, family member or other person acting in their own interest improperly sways another person through force, threat, overreaching or deception to create or change an estate planning document or make a transfer of property to benefit the undue influencer. Our firm provides beneficiaries who are negatively impacted by undue influence practiced upon a family member by another with aggressive representation to set aside any wrongfully procured estate planning documents or transfers.
- Incapacity — For a will to be enforceable, the person making it must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. If that person experienced some mental decline around the time the will was signed, there might be a contest seeking to have the will invalidated based the maker’s incapacity. Such contests often turn on subjective evidence, so it’s important to have an experienced advocate on your side.
- Fraud — If a question exists regarding the authenticity of a will or codicil, we take quick action to investigate whether the document is fraudulent or otherwise invalid. Our firm also handles actions where personal representatives are accused of lying to the court or to potential heirs regarding will provisions or other aspects of the estate.
- Mistake or misinterpretation — Sometimes, text in a will can be difficult to interpret, possibly leading to a mistake. This might be true when second marriages occur and the language in the will is unclear about allocations to spouses or children. Guided by pertinent legal standards and our background in this field, we work to clear up discrepancies and to honor the decedent’s true wishes.
We understand that protracted litigation in a probate matter often hurts those involved by depleting estate assets and adding a new burden to family members who are already dealing with a loss. Recognizing this, our lawyers press to resolve contested issues positively in a prompt, efficient and professional manner.
Thorough Treasure Coast litigators handle trust disputes
Trusts are created for a wide range of purposes and trustees have the legal authority to make decisions that they are believe are in line with the creator’s instructions. However, the terms set forth in trust documents may be complicated and conflicts can arise when an established or potential beneficiary disagrees with how the trustee is handling their role. In cases where breach of fiduciary duty is alleged or some other aspect of trust is being challenged, our firm represents trustees and other interested parties in negotiations and litigation. Whether you’re looking to terminate a trust or to defeat a claim that a trust is being administrated improperly, we offer strong advocacy and knowledgeable advice.
Contact an effective Florida probate and trust litigation attorney regarding your matter
McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A. advocates on behalf of clients in Florida disputes stemming from probate and trust administration. To arrange an appointment at our Stuart office, please call 772-286-1700 or contact us online.