Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution,
Probate and Fiduciary Litigation
Our attorneys handle all aspects of trust and estate dispute resolution and probate litigation including:
- Resolution of trust disputes
- Challenging and defending challenges to petitions for probate of wills
- Defending against, and seeking the removal of, trustees, executors and personal representatives
- Compelling and defending accounts of executors, personal representatives and trustees
- Prosecuting and defending other claims of wrongdoing by fiduciaries
- Bringing and defending claims for interference with inheritances
- Seeking reformation of defective wills and trusts
We have a deep understanding of the substantive common law and statutory requirements governing estate and trust disputes, including the Uniform Trust Code, the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Principal and Income Acts, and the Prudent Investor Act. With an understanding of these probate and trust laws as a foundation, our attorneys are able to successfully advise our clients on the varied complex issues involved in probate matters. When handling any such case, we employ a team approach under in which our probate litigators work closely with our trust and estate attorneys to bring to the case both expert litigation skills and a broad and deep knowledge of the substantive law. Consequently, we can provide our clients with attorneys that have extensive experience in the particular areas in dispute as well as those with probate litigation experience in the state and federal courts.
Petitions for Instructions
Unfortunately, sometimes will and trust documents contain ambiguities. Our attorneys are experienced in bringing a variety of judicial actions to obtain interpretations of ambiguous documents, and instructions for how to carry out the duties under those documents.
Trust Reformation and Terminations
We have successfully prosecuted actions seeking reformation of defective trusts. Our successful handling of these matters has avoided and resolved disputes, and resulted in significant tax savings for our clients.
Massachusetts law allows for the termination of irrevocable trusts under certain circumstances. Our team has successfully brought trust termination actions.
Declaratory Judgments and Equity Actions
We have extensive experience presenting declaratory judgment actions when a trustee or personal representative is faced with a dispute over proper administration of the estate or trust or interpretation of language in the governing instrument.
The probate courts in Massachusetts have broad equity powers to resolve a variety of disputes that arise in state and trust administration. Our attorneys have handled many such matters to successful completion through these procedures.
Advising Trustees, Beneficiaries, Personal Representatives and Heirs
Personal representatives and trustees can face questions and concerns from beneficiaries and co-fiduciaries. Similarly, beneficiaries can have legitimate questions, concerns or disputes with trustees and personal representatives. In addition to representing them in court, our attorneys regularly advise both fiduciaries and beneficiaries on ways to avoid litigation and, when possible, on techniques and strategies for amicably resolving disputes before going to court. Our clients include individuals, banks and trust companies as well as attorneys and other professional advisers and fiduciaries.