Finding Effective Solutions to Estate Disputes
Are you concerned about the validity of a will? Do you believe a trustee, guardian, or power of attorney is abusing his or her position? Are you concerned that your loved one’s final wishes are not being adhered to? After the death of a loved one, it is common for these concerns to arise.
At Terrazas Henkel, P.C., we are committed to helping people throughout western Montana resolve estate disputes effectively and efficiently, while protecting their interests and the interests of their loved ones.
Verbal Promises are Not Enough
Many estate disputes arise over verbal promises made by the deceased. Clients tell us all the time, “This is what she said she wanted to happen.”
Mom or dad may have promised one family member a specific heirloom, such as a wedding ring, or the family ranch, but if the promise wasn’t put in writing, it could be challenging to prove and result in lengthy estate litigation.
Common Estate Disputes
Disagreements can arise over everything from funeral arrangements to the distribution of assets to the manner in which a trust is being administered. Some of the most common disputes involve:
- Will contests — Just because a will exists does not mean it is valid. If the deceased was of unsound mind when he/she created the will or was being unduly influenced by another person, or if other issues exist, the will may not be enforceable.
- Breach of fiduciary duty — Guardians, conservators, trustees, personal representatives, and powers of attorney are all fiduciaries and owe a special duty of care to wards, beneficiaries, and estate heirs. Disputes often arise over whether fiduciaries abused their power or failed to live up to this standard.
Disputes over estate assets can cause deep rifts between family members. At Terrazas Henkel, P.C., we understand the emotional damage that can be done during heated litigation. That is why we first attempt to resolve estate disputes through negotiation and settlement. This approach is not only more efficient, and it is more affordable and less contentious.
However, not every dispute can be resolved informally. When necessary, we have no problem taking cases to trial. Our lawyers are skilled litigators, known for their thorough preparation and aggressive pursuit of clients’ interests. No matter which approach is chosen, you can trust us to do what is in your best interests.
Learn More About Asset Preservation
If you are involved in a dispute regarding a loved one’s estate, contact Terrazas Henkel, P.C. at 406-541-2550. Our attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected.