At Northwest Legal, we represent beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and other parties in a variety of estate disputes, including will contests, trustee/beneficiary conflict of interest issues, and actions challenging guardianship, conservatorship, or powers of attorney. Whether litigating in probate court, or through an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation, we bring our unique combination of skilled and detail-oriented advocacy, a straight-forward and practical legal approach, and personalized attention, to every matter we handle.
In our estate planning practice, we always strive to anticipate and address potential challenges, implementing dispute prevention strategies wherever possible. Good planning can go a long way to reducing the likelihood of estate or probate litigation, which can be emotionally fraught and disruptive for all involved. Even with careful planning and the best of intentions, however, inheritance disputes arise, and it is critical to have an experienced probate litigation attorney on your side.
We represent individuals and families bringing or defending inheritance disputes based on, among other reasons, undue influence, improper execution, lack of competence, and fraud. Oregon law has specific requirements for when a challenge to a will must be filed (within four months of being notified that the will is being probated) and for what reason(s) a will may be contested. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their rights are being protected and that the true wishes and intentions of their lost loved one are carried out justly and fairly.
We will assist you through the will contest process, from filing or responding to an objection to the admission of the will, to appearing for a hearing in probate court to formally state the objections, investigating the claim, interviewing and coordinating expert witnesses, family members, and other fact witnesses, and then trying the case if necessary. Whether the will contest involves personal property, bank accounts, or real property, we will help you to resolve even the most complex challenges to a will with efficiency, compassion, and responsiveness.
A trustee who is also a beneficiary must walk a very fine line, as a trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of both current and future beneficiaries of the trust and can be held personally liable for any breach of that duty. We represent individuals claiming or defending an alleged violation of trustee duties. We also handle disputes involving alleged executor-beneficiary conflicts of interest, including claims that the executor is buying from the estate, has not properly accounted, or is serving their own interests.
At Northwest Legal we represent individuals and families challenging or defending guardianships, conservatorships, or powers of attorney based on claims involving whether or not the that the incapacitated person is sufficiently unable to care for, or make decisions for, themselves. Despite the best intentions of family members, litigation often results when the family does not agree as to the best course of action for the incapacitated person. We can help.
For more information on our Oregon estate dispute prevention and resolution services, we welcome you to contact us.