What is Trust & Estate Litigation?
Orlando, Florida, Trust & Estate litigation attorney L. Reed Bloodworth explains the legal actions that may be taken by a beneficiary who is removed from a trust or an estate (will). A trust and estate legal issue regarding a will or an estate is known as probate litigation.
Often, these trust and estate issues come as a surprise to the family. Maybe it was executed by a parent with dementia or by family member who has Alzheimer’s. It can be alarming and yes, it can be addressed legally.
In some cases, you may feel or believe that there was outside or undue influence applied by a family member or an unknown person who had involvement that changed a trust or estate through interactions with a parent or parents.
If you’re a beneficiary, or were a beneficiary in a trust or an estate and were removed for any reason, give Reed a call and at least talk about what happened to you. Find out if you have legal grounds for pursuing litigation. Reed is able to take trust & estate litigation cases on a contingency fee basis if a case is accepted.
To clarify, a trust & estate litigation lawyer does not write wills, establish trusts, or provide estate planning. Reed handles trust and estate litigation, lawsuits and legal action taken when a plaintiff–a person who should have been or who was a beneficiary–has issues surrounding a trust or an estate.
Do You Have a Trust & Estate Litigation Case?
A trust & estate litigation case occurs when someone who was or should have been a beneficiary for a trust, an estate or both, through some bad act of another person–often times it is a family member–they were removed from a trust or a will. Then, that person (who removed them) benefitted from it. Estate and trust is an area of law that can become combative and emotional for family members and siblings.
Trust & estate litigation is legal action involving someone’s estate planning. Either their will, which would be estate or probate litigation, or their trust which is trust litigation.
My practice focuses on representing beneficiaries—or people who should be beneficiaries—in trust and estate litigation.
A typical scenario for trust and estate litigation involves an elderly or very sick person often times suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s changing their will near the end of their life or changing their trust at the end of their life. And that change results in a pretty substantial change to who the beneficiaries are.
There are three very common types of causes of action in trust and estate litigation and they often times plead them together. Those are:
- Undue Influence
- Lack of Capacity
- Tortious Interference with a Testamentary Expectancy
Trust & Estate Lawsuits are Emotional
When a dispute over family inheritance, a trust or an estate, where money, land and assets are involved, emotions run high for included but especially excluded beneficiaries.
Florida trust and estate lawyer Reed Bloodworth sees a wide range of trust and estate legal issues most of which involve a family member that is no longer a beneficiary in a will or a trust.
Even loving family members may turn against each other over money and inheritance. Additionally, a death can cause siblings, relatives and in-laws to become emotional and in the heat of arguments make accusations when there are surprises in a will or a trust.
Sort Out the Issues
By talking with an experienced trust and estate lawyer, all the issues can be handled legally through a negotiated resolution or, if necessary, a lawsuit. Each party involved in a trust & estate dispute may hire a lawyer, or parties may hire a trust & estate lawyer to sort things out before litigation becomes necessary.
If a lawsuit is the only resolve as seen by all parties or even one party involved in a trust or estate dispute, then attorney Reed Bloodworth can begin litigation. However, lawsuits are costly and factor into the decision. A beneficiary should speak at length with Reed to discuss the case and get answers to questions about what is involved in a trust & estate lawsuit or litigation.
Trust & Estate Cases
The good news is that Reed Bloodworth takes trust and estate cases on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fees mean that Reed is paid only when the client receives payment from a settlement or from a lawsuit.
The advantage to working with Reed, who is a skilled and highly respected Orlando attorney, is the ability to have the case taken on contingency fees. Contingency fees are legal fees paid to the attorney and law firm when the case settles in or out of court and there is money received from the case.
Contingency fees mean that a client’s payments are contingent upon or based upon settling or receiving a financial court decision in favor of the plaintiff. If there is no settlement received, the law firm accepts the loss. This means that Reed’s clients whose cases are accepted require no money upfront, no big check downpayment to get the case started, no monthly bill is paid in advance to move the case forward.
Ultimately by working with trust & estate attorney Reed Bloodworth the case begins work immediately upon acceptance. Reed fights for the client’s case and towards the desired result which is paid for when and only if the case pays out.
Not every law firm can offer clients the benefit of paying through contingency fees. But Reed, as a lawyer can provide this benefit. Reed works extensively on trust & estate cases and has years of experience in litigation. Reed handles many trust and estate lawsuits and will walk clients through the process so that they understand what’s involved.
Who Does the Trustee Attorney Represent?
If you are considering or are involved in a trust or estate dispute, it’s important you understand the trustee’s attorney represents only the trustee – not the beneficiaries.
The trustee’s attorney represents the trustee and the trustee only.
It is unfortunate but many beneficiaries or would be beneficiaries believe that the attorney that is representing the trustee or the personal representative in the case of probate or estate, is also representing them and their best interest. That is not the case.
When to Hire a Trust and Estate Attorney
Are you having issues with a trustee with a personal representative? If you believe you have been improperly removed from a trust or a will you need your own independent counsel to represent your interests.
The attorneys for the personal representative or the trustee are only representing them – not you. When you know you need help, hiring a qualified attorney to represent you will help alleviate the pressure brought on by such an emotionally charged situation.
Consult with Reed on Your Trust or Estate Case
It’s a good idea to consult with attorney Reed Bloodworth on your trust or estate case. As soon as you know that there is going to be an issue over an inheritance, talk to Reed.
Reed Bloodworth is a top Florida trust & estate lawyer and someone you will be able to understand and get answers to questions that you have. Talk about what’s going on and explain the details of your situation to Reed. He’ll call you back during and after the usual work hours because in general, some of the toughest legal situations happen after 5 p.m. and on weekends. 407-777-8541 is his direct line.
Don’t wait until you or your family members are unable to talk calmly with each other, let alone reason with each other about the legal issues involving a family will or estate. You can talk with Reed who is one of Florida’s most skilled estate and trust lawyers. Reed Bloodworth has worked extensively on trust & estate litigation cases since 2013.
Reed will walk you through the trust and estate process no matter what point you’ve reached or what challenges you fear or feel need to be resolved quickly to protect your interests.
If you’re the person left out of a will, and you were the beneficiary for many years or for any length of time, you can talk to Reed to get answers. Yes, phone calls are answered and ALL voicemails are returned. If Reed doesn’t answer the phone, it’s because he’s in court, traveling, in a settlement negotiation, a client meeting or a deposition, mediation or other legal responsibility. Reed promises to call you back when you call 407-777-8541. Don’t be surprised if he calls you back on a weekend or evenings. E-mail Reed with questions at: Reed@LawyerFightsForYou.com Reed is based in Orlando, Florida but works for clients across the state.
It can be a simple question and answer session for yourself, or maybe you and your siblings want to have someone look at a current or pending estate plan or family trust so that you know what to expect. Maybe you suspect undue influence by someone who’s caring for a parent or a loved one. There’s no cost to ask questions but it’s a good idea to have a list of issues you need answered to clarify what’s going on in your family.
Several Charges or Issues within a Case
When Reed litigates a trust and estate case there are often multiple charges involved. Trust and estate litigation covers many inheritance or beneficiary changes, breaches, contests, claims and problems with wills, breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees and other fiduciaries, conflicts of interest, breaches of trust, lack of capacity, fraudulent conveyances, inaccurate or illegal accountings, petitions for court instructions, issues of trust modification, allegations of undue influence, tortious interference with a testamentary expectancy.
Clients vary widely and can include charitable organizations, families or individual beneficiaries.
An estate is the property and assets owned when a person dies. A will is the legal document that defines who will inherit the estate. A trust is a legal agreement outlining directions for a trustee, who holds and manages a grantor’s assets for beneficiaries, what must be performed in accordance with the wishes of the grantor.
There are many types of trusts and manners in which assets may be held for others until a grantor’s death. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that holds a third party responsible for managing and holding the assets to ethically carry out the desired financial direction set by the grantor on behalf of the beneficiaries or sometimes a sole beneficiary.