San Diego Trust & Estate Trial Attorneys
Representing Clients Throughout California
AV Rated Practice Limited to Contested, Contentious, and Problematic Trust & Estate Matters.
Conflicts that arise during the administration of a decedent’s estate or trust involve more than legal issues. These disputes often degenerate into lengthy contentious emotional battles often involving step-parents, siblings, or close family relatives. At Van Dyke & Associates, APLC in San Diego, we are a boutique law firm with the unique skill, experience, and reputation in this area of law to resolve these contentious disputes. Litigation relating to probate issues, trust administration, and other related matters are all we do. We are not estate planning lawyers and do not engage in any related transactional work. By limiting our practice solely to Trusts & Estate Litigation, we are able to draw on decades of civil litigation experience and have earned substantial victories for clients in trial and appellate courts throughout California. Probate litigation is almost never planned or contemplated by a loved one. Yet, our clients find themselves embroiled in such litigation often because of poor parental estate planning, or a high-risk distribution scheme resulting in unwarranted disinheritance or other inequitable treatment. Greed, or a desire to rectify perceived family discourse, seems to be the central theme of numerous cases involving disputes among siblings, which becomes especially acute when one or more siblings are nominated to serve as fiduciaries. Finally, old age and incapacity eventually dictate that an elderly parent will not be able to successfully manage the financial affairs of a complicated A/B Trust created by husband and wife in better times. Complex sub-trust asset allocation and funding made necessary by the tax code decades ago is rarely required under the present regimen, yet these antiquated trusts must be now administered according to the terms of such trusts when the first trustor dies. A surviving spouse’s disregard of the fiduciary duties required to properly administer an irrevocable decedent’s sub-trust often creates a forensic accounting problem requiring expert witness testimony to trace and reallocate dissipated assets. Our attorneys are uniquely qualified to litigate petitions in probate court in order to efficiently and promptly solve these complex legal problems.
Experienced Lawyers for Probate Conflicts – Fighting for your rightful inheritance™
Well-known and respected by judges in the probate courts, our attorneys work diligently to protect the rightful inheritances of our clients and ensure compliance with decedents’ instructions. Clients who require competent litigation counsel for probate conflicts and related civil litigation trust us because we are:
- Established — Since 1998, we have represented trustees, executors, and potential beneficiaries through the probate litigation process and secured favorable outcomes–even in complex or contentious matters.
- Responsive — Once you contact us, we work with you to gather information on your case and are always available to answer any questions.
- Skillful — We understand the legal and practical considerations that are necessary to help our clients win in court or reach a favorable settlement. Through the use of cutting-edge case management and trial technology, we are able to analyze documents efficiently and build a powerful argument to present before a judge or jury.
No matter what type of legal issue you face, our firm provides counsel that is tailored to your unique circumstances and objectives. Starting with a free initial consultation, we value the time and expense you invest with us and work diligently to assert your rights.
Serving clients throughout California our firm handles cases exclusively in the following practice areas, including:
- Trusts and Estates litigation — We handle trusts and estates litigation for executors, trustees, beneficiaries, and other interested parties, including trustee retention and/or removal issues.
- Asserting or Defending Claims Against Trust Property – Probate Code 850/859 Petitions.
- Contested Accountings – Our firm prepares fiduciary accounting reports and where appropriate, litigates objections to deficient fiduciary accounting reports. Forensic accounting experts are often required.
- Probate and Estate administration — In contested probate and estate administration matters, our firm enforces legal and testamentary directives and handles contesting a will.
- Conservatorships — If someone is not able to act in their own legal and financial best interests, we can establish a conservatorship so that a qualified person can make key decisions on their behalf.
- Elder Financial Abuse Fighting Elder Financial Abuse– – the No. 1 crime against elders in California.
- Related Civil Litigation — We represent plaintiffs and defendants in probate related civil litigation cases.
- Power of Attorney Law – We represent principals and agents-in-fact under the California Power of Attorney Law.
- Appellate law — If you suspect that the trial court judge committed a significant error, our attorneys have the appellate law knowledge and experience to press for an appropriate reversal.
- Estate Planning Legal Malpractice – The genesis of many of our litigated cases, is unethical conduct and/or legal malpractice committed by negligent or misguided estate planning attorneys.
In each type of case we take on, we are focused on leveraging expert witness testimony and trial technology to provide our clients the sophistication and experience of a large firm–coupled with the efficiency and customer service of a small firm.
Mr. Van Dyke regularly answers many frequently asked questions in this area of the law. Read them here. Each Trust & Estate case is unique but there are several reoccurring themes in our practice of law. Our answers may be insightful to your own case.
Contact a tenacious Trust & Estate litigation attorney for a free initial consultation
Van Dyke & Associates, APLC represents clients in probate litigation, trust disputes, and related civil matters throughout California. The firm owns and operates general aviation aircraft to efficiently represent clients in the management and disposition of property located in broad geographical areas. Please call (619) 344-0977 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at a convenient location.