Irvine Probate Litigation Lawyers
Why Would You Need an Orange County Probate Attorney?
Probate matters are complicated. There is no getting around that. Even most estate planning attorneys will not attempt to litigate complex probate disputes. A board-certified probate litigation attorney in Irvine can provide assistance in helping with your litigation needs.
Our lead attorney, Bradley Kirk, is an experienced and certified specialist in trust and probate litigation with decades of trial experience. All of our seasoned litigators are trained in, and practice exclusively in, probate law.
Get help from our Irvine probate litigation attorneys—call (949) 220-0969 or use our online contact form.
What Is Probate Litigation?
Probate litigation involves legal disputes arising during the probate process, concerning the administration and distribution of a deceased individual's estate. Lawsuits may be filed by heirs or beneficiaries against the executor, administrator, or a third party. At Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc.], our skilled probate litigation lawyers are well-versed in handling these complex matters. Our experienced team is here to advocate for your rights and protect your interests.
Probate litigation covers a wide range of issues, including the following:
- Will Contests: Validity of a will, allegations of undue influence, lack of capacity, or fraud
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Accusing a fiduciary of mismanagement or neglecting their responsibilities
- Property Disputes: Disagreements over asset ownership or distribution among beneficiaries, family members, or third parties
- Accountings and Valuations: Accuracy of asset valuations or transparency of financial accounts related to the estate
- Guardianship and Conservatorship Disputes: Appointment or actions of guardians or conservators
- Trust Litigation: Challenges to the validity of the trust document or concerns about the trustee's decisions
Probate litigation requires experienced attorneys who understand the intricacies of probate and trust law. At Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc., our probate litigation lawyers have extensive experience. If you are facing probate litigation or have concerns about estate administration, contact our skilled us today. Choose a Board Certified Legal Specialist in Probate Litigation from our firm to ensure that you have advanced expertise on your side.
The Orange County Probate Process
The person in charge of a probate estate is referred to as an executor (if there is a Will) or an administrator (if there is no Will). A generic term for both an executor and administrator is a “personal representative.” A person in charge of a Trust is called a Trustee. All of these individuals are “fiduciaries”—meaning they are responsible for managing someone else’s assets.
A fiduciary’s responsibilities, even if handled correctly, can make them vulnerable to upset or disgruntled beneficiaries. That’s why it’s vital for fiduciaries to have a probate litigator in their corner, to protect the interests of the estate and the fiduciary’s personal interests.
Representing Executors, Administrators, Personal Representatives & Trustees
At Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc., our Orange County probate litigators serve both personal representatives and trustees. Under the law, these persons have the obligation to vigorously defend the assets of an estate, but they can also be personally liable for losses. That’s right—the personal assets of a fiduciary can be seized by the Court if the fiduciary is found to have breached their fiduciary duties or have not strictly followed all of California’s Trust & Probate laws.
Beneficiaries of an estate can present a problem for fiduciaries if the beneficiary believes that they are being shortchanged or that the decedent did not treat them fairly in the Will/Trust. Fiduciaries are often the scapegoats for disgruntled beneficiaries, even when fiduciaries are simply doing what the law requires. Contact us online or call (949) 220-0969 today!
Over 25 Years of Probate Litigation in Irvine
Our Orange County probate attorneys represent fiduciaries who are being sued for alleged misconduct or who are otherwise caught up in estate litigation. It is imperative that fiduciaries mount an aggressive and effective defense because, if things go badly, they can be held personally liable.
For these reasons, personal representatives need competent and aggressive legal representation to assert their rights and protect their duty to faithfully manage the assets entrusted to them. We are specialists in assisting our clients in navigating the complex web of California’s Probate laws and requirements. Trustees should also know that they usually have the right to use Trust estate assets to pay their attorneys to defend themselves.
If you’re being sued by a beneficiary, discuss your legal options with us in a confidential consultation. Contact us online or call (949) 220-0969 today.
Incompetent and corrupt personal representatives do exist. There are several situations when beneficiaries need an assertive and effective litigator to take aggressive action to ensure that their rights are asserted.
Our legal team represents beneficiaries who find themselves in one or more of the following scenarios:
- A beneficiary is being treated unfairly
- A fiduciary is not doing their job
- A corrupt fiduciary is stealing funds from the estate
Our Probate Litigation Attorneys Can Help
People may not realize it, but fiduciaries are often given unlimited access to, and authority over, estate assets. If the fiduciary steals money, that money may be very difficult to recover. If a fiduciary mismanages the estate resulting in losses, the remedy is to sue.
However, once the money is gone, it is gone, and it is often difficult to recover. In certain circumstances, a trust/probate litigator can freeze estate assets to ensure that they are preserved for the beneficiary until it comes time for distribution.
Some fiduciaries are not corrupt, but they simply do not do their job well. They invest estate funds improperly or fail to invest them at all. They sometimes refuse to do any work on the estate and just let it languish. They sometimes simply refuse to give any type of accounting for their actions.
The Courts have insufficient resources to actively monitor fiduciaries who refuse to move the estate along. The law provides beneficiaries with rights under these circumstances, but in order to protect these rights, beneficiaries must hire an experienced attorney to take action in Court against the negligent or non-responsive fiduciary. We have extensive experience in ensuring that personal representatives are either compelled by the Court to do their job effectively and timely, or are suspended and/or removed so that a competent fiduciary can take their place.
“Winning spirit”- Diane
Honesty, Transparency & Accessibility
Aggressive Representation. Optimal Results.
Over 50 Years of Legal Experience
Board Certified Specialization in Probate & Trust Litigation