Probate, Trust, and Fiduciary Litigation

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Dickinson Wright has a dedicated and diverse group of nationally recognized lawyers that can assist beneficiaries and fiduciaries with complicated probate, trust, and fiduciary litigation. We represent trustees, personal representatives, executors, investment advisors, guardians, and conservators in resolving a myriad of estate, trust, probate, and fiduciary disputes involving complex and sophisticated legal and tax issues.

We provide counsel, advice, and representation in a broad range of disputed matters, including:

• Arbitration and mediation
• Asset ownership
• Breach of fiduciary duties
• Business succession
• Change venue or change of situs of fiduciary litigation
• Charitable and marital estate tax deductions
• Charitable trusts
• Closely-held and family-held business disputes
• Conflicts arising from fiduciary relationships
• Creditor claims of estates
• Enforcement of joint and mutual wills
• Estate tax and administration claims
• Guardianship and conservatorship
• Implementation of non-judicial dispute resolution agreements (NJDRA)
• Income, inheritance, estate, gift tax disputes
• Partition and division of trust assets
• Petitions for construction, decanting, modification, and reformation of trusts
• Prenuptial and cohabitation agreements
• Real property disputes including deed challenges and quiet title actions
• Removal of personal representatives, executors, and trustees
• Shareholder succession and oppression
• Special needs trusts and Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts
• Tax issues and controversies
• Trust and estate accounting
• Trustee instructions
• Valuation disputes
• Wills and trusts

Our team regularly addresses delicate and difficult situations that arise in disputed matters related to fiduciary relationships including the following:

  •  Beneficiaries
  •  Members of limited liability companies (LLCs) 
  •  Closely-held businesses and subchapter S companies
  •  Partners
  •  Corporate and individual trustees
  •  Public and private charities or charitable foundations
  •  Executors, personal representatives, and administrators
  •  Shareholders
  •  Family partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs)
  •  Special needs trusts and Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts
  •  Guardians and conservators
  •  Trusts
  •  Individual and corporate fiduciaries



We represent fiduciaries and individuals in will and trust interpretation, decanting, and reformation. We also litigate claims regarding the validity of testamentary instruments where undue influence, lack of capacity, fraud or other claimed deficiencies in execution are alleged. Our attorneys pursue and defend breach of fiduciary duty claims, fiduciary and attorney fee disputes, and surcharge actions. We also represent families when planning for incapacity, including conservatorships, long-term care planning, special needs planning, and guardianships.

Our attorneys aim to approach each case individually and on a personal basis. We can create settlements that meet our clients' needs through our thorough knowledge of the tax consequences of estates, trusts, and businesses. Our careful case assessment, well-defined litigation plans, and knowledge of our clients’ goals and objectives sharpen our case outcomes.

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