Efficient Management of Legal Disputes Over Wills and Trusts
One of the benefits of housing an estate planning practice within a larger law firm is that many of our attorneys have the necessary litigation skills to protect our estate and trust clients in the event that litigation arises over the terms of a will or over actions by the executor or trustees.
Estate planning and trust establishment work is document-intensive. For that reason, many excellent estate planning lawyers rarely enter a courtroom. At the Fairfax County law firm of Hale Ball, we are fortunate to offer our clients the powerful combination of knowledgeable estate lawyers who also have formidable trial skills. The estate and estate litigation attorneys of Hale Ball have accumulated a long list of accolades including the firm's AV Rating* and the inclusion of one of two our estate planning litigators, Kimberley A. Murphy and Jean Galloway Ball, as Super Lawyers in Virginia since 2007.
Should you sue the estate or executor, or defend an action that has been filed against you.
A legal fight among family members concerning a will or trust is painful. The family members have to decide if they want to litigate and understand the economic and non-economic costs of estate litigation. Whether you want to prosecute a claim, or have to defend a claim, the first step is to understand your rights. The estate litigation division of Hale Ball prides itself on its ability to educate you on your rights, seek non-litigation remedies, and litigate aggressively if necessary.
Estate litigation is a broad phrase that encompasses:
- Probate litigation and disputes.
- Will contests and disputes
- Trust litigation, contests and disputes.
- Trustee litigation, including seeking advice and consent from the court on the appropriate way to handle difficult situations.
- Guardianship disputes and
- Conservatorship disputes.
- Fiduciary misconduct allegations involving executors and trustees.
- Undue Influence
The first step in any dispute is to understand all of the facts. Attorneys Kimberly A. Murphy and Jean Galloway Ball and their legal team want to sit with you to explore all of the facts of your case so they can advise you on your best course of action. Once she has a solid understanding of the facts, she can present alternatives to you. In the end, you have to make the decision as to what course, if any to pursue. Attorneys Kimberley A. Murphy and Jean Galloway Ball the other attorneys in Hale Ball want to understand your case, and help you make the best informed decision as to how to proceed.
Estate Litigation Doesn't Always Require a Courtroom
Like all trial work, estate litigation requires careful balancing of our client's needs with our client's financial resources. Our goal is to achieve the best possible result without draining excessive resources from the estate in question or from our client's own bank accounts.
Often, estate litigation may be settled before the dispute ever reaches the courtroom. A settlement is almost always the best solution. However, settlement is often not attainable without involving the litigation process. Our trial lawyers are familiar with the courtrooms of Northern Virginia and have handled estate litigation cases through trial, appeal, re-trial and a second appeal - in other words, we stick with our client as long as they wish to fight.
Learn More - Schedule a Consultation
The primary areas of estate and trust litigation in which we work are questions involving will and trust contests, including heirship disputes and allegations of undue influence, and allegations of fiduciary misconduct leveled against executors or trustees.
Call 703-962-1164 for attorneys Kimberly A. Murphy and Jean Galloway Ball today to discuss your situation.
* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.