Trust Litigation

Trustworthy Advocates Who Fight to Preserve Your Inheritance


Has your parent or loved one created a trust document? In most cases, the trustee will properly execute their fiduciary duties, ensuring transparency in the delivery of your inheritance. In some cases, a trustee will mismanage and comingle assets or even use the assets for their own personal benefit. If you suspect wrongdoing by a trustee, it is imperative to act quickly and to get seasoned legal counsel to ensure that assets are not drained from the trust estate, limiting losses to the beneficiaries. Are you looking for representation you can trust to effectively guide you through this complicated process? The Estate Lawyers will give your case the careful attention it deserves.

We have earned a reputation in Southern California for protecting our clients’ interests when they are facing an estate dispute. We have extensive estate litigation and probate litigation experience, and we understand how to protect and preserve your interests and the legacy of your loved one.

Preserving Your Family and Its Legacy

At The Estate Lawyers, our trust litigation attorneys in Newport Beach, advise trustees, executors, and beneficiaries with probate disputes in matters including:

  • Trust contests and will contests: If you believe a loved one did not have the capacity to execute their estate documents or that someone influenced them to make changes, you may need to contest those documents to ensure that the decedent’s true wishes are carried out.

  • Financial elder abuse actions: If you believe a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, you may need to act now to stop and reverse the damage before it gets worse.

  • Transferring assets to a surviving spouse: Spousal property petitions transfer community assets inadvertently, entitled only in the deceased spouse’s name to the surviving spouse, and without the burden of opening a full probate proceeding.

  • Petitions to return assets to trust (Heggstad Petition): If a trust creator intended to include an asset to be distributed as part of their trust, but failed to properly title that asset in trust, you may still be able to avoid probate by filing a petition known as a Heggstad Petition, which confirms the trust creator’s intent to include such asset as part of their trust.

  • Resolve estate disputes: The Estate Lawyers can help resolve estate dispute matters regarding accounting for assets, surcharges, breaches of fiduciary duty, petitions for instruction and petitions to compel distribution.

  • Interpretation of ambiguous estate documents: When an estate document has more than one interpretation or the trustee wants the protection of a court order, a petition for instruction can provide clarity and limit the trustee’s liability.

  • Claims of fiduciary negligence: If a fiduciary such as a trustee, executor, power of attorney or conservator fails to perform their duties – for example, using monies for an improper purpose – filing a removal and surcharge petition could result in the suspension, and removal of that fiduciary, and they would be financially liable for the damages they caused.

  • Spouses mishandling community property and breach of fiduciary duty claims between spouses: When one spouse gives away community assets without the other spouse’s knowledge or consent, breach of fiduciary duty and community property claims may be brought, potentially undoing pay-on-death designations, transfers of real property or using federal law to revert an ERISA protected plan to the surviving spouse.

There are so many types of probate and trust litigation disputes that can arise. These issues are complicated and fact-driven, which is why working with an experienced probate and estate litigation counsel is paramount. If you have questions about how to resolve your trust or estate planning issue, call us to speak to a trust litigation attorney in Orange County who can offer the guidance you need to make an informed decision.

Contact Us Today to Determine How to Protect Yourself or Your Loved One

We are ready to provide you with experienced representation. For a free, 15-minute initial consultation, contact our trust litigation lawyers in Orange County by email or call 949-250-7800.

Contingency fee arrangements may be available. This will depend on the facts of your case. Your eligibility for contingency fee arrangements can only be determined after an initial consultation.

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