• Trust Litigation

    Good Estate Planning can help avoid unnecessary conflicts between loved ones upon the death of a family member. However, sometimes good Estate Planning is not enough. This page and the sub-pages below will discuss common litigation issues and / or problems that may arise after the death of a family member.

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    Estate and Trust litigation can be expensive and often involves issues that are emotional, personal and extremely sensitive to the participating parties.

    There are many areas of potential disagreement and litigation after the death of a loved one.  Although some situations and family dynamics make post-mortem litigation inevitable, anticipation of potential disagreements and litigation – coupled with good Estate Planning advice – may help avoid or lessen the risk or likelihood of such litigation and result in substantial savings to the Estate or Trust.

    Thus, a well conceived Estate Plan does not only operate to reduce taxes, but can preserve and promote family harmony.

    One thing is certain: when the Testator dies, the “glue” is gone and years of frustrations and hard feelings among family members may erupt into expensive and protracted litigation. 

    Failing to address these important issues in the Estate Plan may result in the lawyers becoming the majority beneficiaries of the Estate or Trust and not the family members.

     Some of the most fertile areas for litigation occur when the family member:

    1. Arranges ownership of various bank and/or brokerage accounts contrary to the terms of his or her testamentary documents.
    2. Designates beneficiaries of Life Insurance Policies, Retirement Plans and/or Annuities that are inconsistent with the terms of other such assets or his or her testamentary documents.
    3. Fails to specify which of his or her heirs should pay the expenses of administrating their Estate or how to allocate the tax liabilities.
    4. Fails to provide their direction if an heir or beneficiary fails to survive them or dies simultaneously with them.
    5. Fails to provide for remarriage of an intended heir or beneficiary.
    6. Fails to provide the proper protection for a problem child, a dependent spouse, a spendthrift sister, a needy parent, etc.
    7. Arranges ownership of real estate in a way that by-passes or is inconsistent with the planned disposition provided in his or her testamentary documents.
    8. Fails to nominate desired Fiduciaries or delineate Fiduciary compensation.

    These acts may operate so as to (i) defeat the intentions of the individual as expressed in the Estate Plan (ii) result in the payment of additional/unnecessary Estate Taxes; (iii)  cause the failure of bequests to family members and (iv) increase the likelihood of Will contests.

    The key elements of Trust Litigation in Florida are broken down for your convenience into the following easy to understand areas. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge and past experience practicing for over 20 years in all of the areas below.

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    If you or a loved one needs help with a situation involving one of these areas, please contact Thomas N. Silverman, P.A. at 561.775.7500 (24 hours) or info@FloridaProbateCounsel.com.

    Thank you for contacting our firm. One of our associates will be in contact with you shortly. If the matter is urgent, please call our office directly at 561.775.7500 to speak with an attorney.