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  • Laguna Hills

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    24422 Avenida de la Carlota
    Suite 285
    Laguna Hills, California 92653

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    She is an incredibly knowledgeable and professional attorney with a compassion for her clients and having impeccable ethics.

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Determined California Litigators Handle Estate and Trust Conflicts

SKILLED ATTORNEYS REPRESENT CLIENTS IN CALIFORNIA ESTATE AND TRUST DISPUTES

Trusts are often designed to provide beneficiaries with financial security and stability. When questions arise about the validity or management of a trust, that security and stability may be undermined. Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. represents grantors, trustees, and beneficiaries who want to ensure that assets are distributed as intended and in compliance with California law. If you are a beneficiary and you suspect that a trust is being mismanaged, you have a right to raise your concern and seek remedy. Similarly, trustees are entitled to defend themselves against accusations of incompetence or unlawful conduct. Sometimes, the language in a trust document can be interpreted in more than one way, and a trustee or beneficiary may ask a court to determine the interpretation that should be enforced. We help clients in Orange County and throughout California to seek favorable resolutions to trust disputes and, if necessary to go to trial to resolve them.

Experienced attorneys advise clients HOW TO HANDLE trust contests

There may be several bases for challenging the validity of a trust or portions of it.. If you wish to investigate or make such a challenge, or if one has been brought against a trust that impacts you, it is important to understand the legal foundations of your case. Reasons for disputing the validity of a trust include:

  • Lack of capacity — If the person who created the trust was not of sound mind at the time it was created, then the trust may not be valid or enforceable. The concept of capacity concerns a person’s ability to understand the nature and consequences of their actions, which may be impaired temporarily or permanently for a variety of medical reasons.
  • Undue influence — Trust documents might be invalid if a person with access to and power or control (emotional, psychological, physical, etc.) over the person who created the trust manipulated that person to gain special consideration in the estate plan.
  • Fraud — If someone committed traditional fraud and obtained a gift from another’s estate plan as a result of the fraud, then the trust may not be valid as to that gift.
  • Forgery — In some cases, a trust document is invalid because the grantor never actually executed it. A qualified document examiner may be useful to investigate concerns of forgery.
  • Duress — If someone compels another, through force or fear, to create a trust or will then the document is not enforceable.

It is important to note that disappointment is not a valid reason for a person to challenge a trust. All challenges must be supported by competent evidence and there is some risk of violating a trust’s “no contest” clause if a contest is made without probable cause. The lawyers at Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. can help you investigate and then advise you on the validity of your potential challenge; if the decision is made to file an action to assert your claim, then our team will work to help you resolve your issues either through a negotiated agreement or a trial.

ACCOMPLISHED ATTORNEYS LITIGATE AND RESOLVE BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY CLAIMS for and against trustees

All trustees are fiduciaries, which means they have a duty to manage the assets of the trust according to the grantor’s wishes, in conformity with California law, and for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries may challenge a trustee’s conduct and are entitled to receive a full account and report detailing the trustee’s actions. The attorneys at Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. have experience on both sides of disputes concerning a trustee’s accounts and reports. Such disputes may include investment decisions; we have associations with forensic accountants who can render accurate assessments of asset management and help assemble evidence to prove or refute allegations. Disputes may also concern the management or sale of real property; we work with realtors and property managers to determine whether or not a trustee met his or her obligation to make trust assets productive. We have been involved in trust administrations where the trustee is responsible for running ongoing businesses during the trust administration, which poses its own challenges and potential pitfalls.

Fiduciaries must make sound decisions so that assets are not lost due to waste, fraud, misallocation, or mismanagement. A trustee is required to be impartial in dealing with the beneficiaries, especially when the trustee is a beneficiary her or himself. Sometimes it is enough to put an underperforming trustee on notice that you are closely following his or her acts and omissions, with the assistance of competent counsel to advise you as to the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit.

DEDICATED ATTORNEYS REPRESENT CLIENTS DURING INHERITANCE CONFLICTS

The attorneys at Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. advocate on behalf of clients in Orange County and throughout California who want to ensure that property and wealth are handled in accordance with the desires and instructions of the deceased and in conformity with California law. If you suspect that a will is fraudulent or invalid, or that an estate is being mismanaged, you have a right to seek remedy in court. Similarly, estate administrators are entitled to defend themselves against accusations of incompetence or unlawful conduct. We represent beneficiaries and executors in estate litigation, seeking favorable resolutions to disputes.

INFORMED CALIFORNIA ATTORNEYS GUIDE CLIENTS THROUGH Will contests

There are several bases for challenging a will. Whether you are alleging misconduct or accused of it, it is important to understand the legal reasons a will may be challenged:

  • Lack of capacity — If the person who created the will was not of sound mind at the time it was created, then the will may not be valid or enforceable. The concept of capacity concerns a person’s ability to understand the nature and consequences of their actions, which may be impaired temporarily or permanently for a variety of medical reasons.
  • Undue influence — Will might be invalid if a person with access to and power or control (emotional, psychological, physical, etc.) over the person who created the trust manipulated that person to gain special consideration in the estate plan.
  • Fraud — If someone committed traditional fraud and obtained a gift from another’s estate plan as a result of the fraud, then the will may not be valid as to that gift.
  • Forgery — In some cases, a will is invalid because the decedent never actually executed it. A qualified document examiner may be useful to investigate concerns of forgery.
  • Duress — If someone compels another, through force or fear, to create a trust or will then the document is not enforceable.
  • Improper Execution – There are specific requirements under California law that must be met for a document to be considered a valid will. If these requirements are not met, the will is invalid.

California courts look harshly on exploitation of vulnerable people, including the elderly population and dependent adults. However, it is important to note that disappointment is not a valid reason for a person to challenge a will. All challenges must be supported by competent evidence and there is some risk of violating a will's “no contest” clause if a contest is made without probable cause. The lawyers at Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. can help you investigate and then advise you on the validity of your potential challenge; if the decision is made to file an action to assert your claim, then our team will work to help you resolve your issues either through a negotiated agreement or a trial.

ACCOMPLISHED ATTORNEYS HELP WITH CLAIMS OF EXECUTOR MISCONDUCT

Executors have a fiduciary duty to manage the assets of an estate according to the wishes of the decedent, for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The fiduciary must act in accordance with the terms of the will and the law so that assets are not lost due to waste, fraud, misallocation or mismanagement. Beneficiaries may challenge alleged misconduct and demand a full account of a fiduciary’s actions. The attorneys at Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. have experience on both sides of probate controversies.

The formal term for a fiduciary appointed to administer a decedent’s estate are “executor” or “administrator” – both generally may be referred to as a “personal representative” of the estate. These roles encompass fiduciary duties, which means the personal representative has a duty to manage the assets of the estate according to the decedent’s wishes, in conformity with California law, and for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries may challenge a personal representative’s conduct and are entitled to receive a full account and report detailing the personal representative’s actions. The probate process is court-supervised, but interested parties should not rely on the court to fix any problems on its own. The attorneys at Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. have experience on both sides of disputes concerning a personal representative’s accounts and reports. Such disputes may include investment decisions; we have associations with forensic accountants who can render accurate assessments of asset management and help assemble evidence to prove or refute allegations. Disputes may also concern the management or sale of real property; we work with realtors and property managers to determine whether or not a trustee met his or her obligation to make trust assets productive. We have been involved in estate administrations where the personal representative is responsible for running ongoing businesses during the probate process, which poses its own challenges and potential pitfalls.

Fiduciaries must make sound decisions so that assets are not lost due to waste, fraud, misallocation, or mismanagement. A personal representative is required to be impartial in dealing with the beneficiaries, especially when the personal representative is a beneficiary her or himself. Sometimes, a beneficiary has a misunderstanding that can be corrected with sound counsel and transparency in the administration. Other times it is enough to put an underperforming personal representative on notice that you are closely following his or her acts and omissions, with the assistance of competent counsel to advise you as to the pros and cons of challenging his or her acts and omissions in court. If not, however, then our team is able to take the next step and pursue the appropriate challenges and remedies in court.

Contact an established California trust litigation firm

Conflicts among beneficiaries and fiduciaries can be damaging if they are not managed by experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. Roehl & Glowacki, P.C. provides capable trust litigation to clients throughout California. Call us today at 949-313-8174 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Laguna Hills office.