Who Does a Probate Litigation Attorney Represent?

A probate litigation attorney is a lawyer who represents people that feel they have been wronged by how a will, trust, estate, guardianship, or power of attorney of a loved one is being administered. The attorney can also represent those accused of maladministering these estate-related processes. Following are three common examples of who a probate litigation attorney might represent:

Someone who contests a will

An interested party may believe that the will or trust of a loved one is invalid. Possible reasons for this may be that:

  • The will or trust was written under duress, under the undue influence of someone else, or under the threat of coercion.
  • The decedent (person who died) was mentally incompetent when they wrote the will or trust.
  • The will or trust is legally invalid. For example, it was not signed with the proper formalities or crucial information was omitted.

A will or trust contest can be initiated by anyone, but most often is initiated by the children or spouse of the decedent who were expecting a bigger share of the estate than the will or trust provided for them. This is especially common in second marriages and blended families. Will or trust contests also often occur if the decedent unexpectedly bequeathed a large portion of their estate to a non-family member or organization.

Someone who disagrees with how a personal representative is managing an estate

A personal representative is the person named in the will to manage the process of dissolving the decedent’s affairs and distributing their assets in accordance with the law.  Some of the responsibilities of a personal representative include:

  • Informing all interested parties that an estate is being filed in the probate court
  • Securing appraisals and selling or distributing any real estate, jewelry, or other assets
  • Paying creditors and taxes
  • Submitting required pleadings and documentation to the probate court

If someone feels that the personal representative is acting dishonestly or shirking their responsibility, they can contact a probate litigation attorney to file a lawsuit to replace the personal representative. On the flip side, if a personal representative is facing such a lawsuit, they, too, need representation from a probate litigation attorney.

Someone who disagrees with how a trustee is managing a trust

A trustee is required to manage a trust in the best interest of its beneficiaries. They also must keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the administration and provide an annual accounting of the trust’s assets to them. If a trustee is self-dealing (conducting transactions that benefit the trustee rather than the beneficiaries) or is not fulfilling all of their responsibilities, a beneficiary can contact a probate litigation attorney to ask the court to remove the trustee and seek other restitution. Similarly, if a trustee is facing a lawsuit, they need to contact a probate litigation attorney as well.

These are just three of the many types of situations where you would need a probate litigation attorney. If you are involved in any contentious situation regarding a will, estate, trust, guardianship, or power of attorney, contact Huth, Pratt and Milhauser. Often times the courts have strict deadlines that must be met in these situations, so don’t delay.

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser is a boutique law firm that offers a wide range of legal services in the specialty areas of wills, trusts, estates, probate, guardianship, and related matters. The range of legal services that Huth, Pratt & Milhauser provides in these specialty areas includes planning, administration and litigation. The experience and skills of our attorneys and staff, coupled with our knowledge of applicable law, enable us to provide outstanding representation to our clients.

Although we are located in South Florida, we proudly serve clients throughout the country and around the world from our Boca Raton offices. We strive to provide superior and focused counsel in a timely manner and at a competitive price.

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser

2500 North Military Trail, Suite 460

Boca Raton, Florida   33431

Phone: 561-392-1800


2500 North Military Trail, Suite 460
Boca Raton, Florida   33431
Phone: 561-392-1800

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