Probate

Will contests and other probate matters bring with them multiple complexities, both personal and legal. They can be particularly disruptive to family life— pitting relative against relative in courtroom battles. McManis Faulkner understands that probate litigation often involves difficult and highly emotionally charged circumstances. Our trial team has the expertise to thoroughly and thoughtfully evaluate these cases in a compassionate manner and render sound legal advice with the goal of prompt and economical resolution, inside or outside the court system.

McManis Faulkner attorneys have the ability to discern when mediation or arbitration are in our client's best interests, and we are experienced in working with alternative dispute resolution providers to obtain successful results for our clients. We bring significant expertise to our representation of individuals, professional fiduciaries, and beneficiaries in all aspects of probate litigation. Our record includes successful resolution of such matters as the validity of wills and trusts, the conduct of trustees, conservators and personal representatives, and claims for distribution from estates and trusts.


Case Studies

Probate Case Studies

Probate Litigation

Result:
Obtained highly favorable, multi-million dollar settlement for a client in a trust dispute. McManis Faulkner was retained after the client, believing she would lose the case after a lengthy trial, had agreed to a very unfavorable settlement.

Client:
Widow

Overview:

McManis Faulkner was retained after trial in this case. The client had agreed, in court, to a very unfavorable settlement before the announcement of a judgment in a long trial in which it seemed clear that the court would rule against her. McManis Faulkner brought a motion to set aside the unfavorable settlement on the grounds that the terms were insufficiently certain to be enforced under the law. The client’s stepchildren quickly moved to enforce the agreed settlement by seizing control of the two family ranches and the client’s home. After the unfavorable settlement was set aside, McManis Faulkner obtained a settlement at mediation in which the client was awarded one of the ranches and the seaside home.




Trustee Fraud

Result:
Obtained favorable no jail result for client accused of theft of more than $1 million.

Client:
Owner of Construction Company

Overview:

A trustee, appointed to oversee his deceased friend’s trust for the benefit of his minor children, diverted to his failing business more than $1 million in proceeds from a life insurance policy payable to the trust. The client was also accused, in a separate civil action, of misappropriating funds from the decedent’s business, which was operated by the trustee after his death. The client was charged with three felonies for theft of the life insurance proceeds and with perjury for lying to the Court in trust accountings. McManis Faulkner obtained a sentence for the trustee that included no prison time on the three felonies and dismissal of the criminal charges after reaching a favorable settlement of the civil action.