Most estates and trusts are administered without serious disputes or significant disagreements, and most protective proceedings are uncontested.  However, conflict can arise about whether a will is valid or if it was the result of undue influence.

Family members and beneficiaries—or would-be beneficiaries—may be divided on who should serve as a personal representative or a trustee, or how an ambiguous or out of date document should be interpreted.  Our practice seeks to resolve these and other issues first through agreement, but by litigation if other means of resolution have failed.

Alternate Dispute Resolution

Litigation costs time, money and emotional energy.  Our firm has extensive experience in resolving disputed matters before or in lieu of trial using a variety of alternate dispute resolution processes. We have good working relationships with skilled mediators and seek them out whenever it’s appropriate.

Who We Represent

We represent individuals and entities in disputed matters:

  • Trustees
  • Personal representatives
  • Beneficiaries
  • Financial Institutions
  • Trust Companies
  • Charities
  • Creditors
  • Agents under powers of attorney
  • Guardians & Conservators

Common Estate Disputes

  • Will Contests – Grounds for will contests include an individual’s lack of required mental capacity to make a will; undue influence exercised upon the person creating a will; a will’s ambiguity or omission of key provisions; a will’s failure to provide for a spouse or child; and failure of the will to meet requirements of Colorado law.
  • Probate and Trust Distribution Disputes – Typical cases involve alleged mismanagement of assets and failure to administer and distribute assets in a timely and appropriate manner.  Some cases raise accusations of self-dealing, conflicts of interest, theft and fraud.
  • Common Law MarriageAn individual claiming to have been married at common law to a deceased person may assert a claim for a spouse’s share of the estate.  A determination of whether the deceased person was, in fact, married can be a complex and time-consuming process, and the outcome will determine who receives the deceased person’s estate.
  • Contested Conservatorships and Guardianships – Disputes may arise regarding whether an individual requires a protective arrangement or who should serve as his or her guardian or conservator.  If a guardian or conservator has been appointed, litigation may occur if someone seeks his or her removal for a variety of reasons, including failure to discharge his or her duties, fraud or other malfeasance.