Irvine Probate Litigation Lawyers
Why Would you Need a 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 can provide assistance in helping with your litigation needs.
Our lead attorney, Bradley Kirk, is an experienced certified specialist in trust and probate litigation – with decades of trial experience. All of our seasoned litigators are trained in, and practice exclusively in, this area of the law.
Get help today from our trusted probate litigation attorneys by calling (949) 220-0969 or contact us online.
The 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 that they are responsible for managing someone else’s assets.
Representing Executors, Administrators, Personal Representatives and Trustees
At Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc., we represent both personal representatives and trustees. In 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 and/or have not strictly followed all of California’s Trust/Probate laws.
Beneficiaries of an estate can be very problematic 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 these disgruntled beneficiaries.
Over 25 Years of Probate Litigation Experience
We 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 they can be held personally liable if things go badly.
For these reasons, personal representatives need competent and aggressive legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected and that they faithfully carry out their duties to defend and manage the estate assets. We are specialists in assisting our clients in navigating through 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.
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.
“I am happy he is working my case and I know the final outcome will be far superior than I ever anticipated.”- D.C.
Honesty, Transparency & Accessibility
Aggressive Representation. Optimal Results.
Over 50 Years of Legal Experience
Board Certified Specialization in Probate & Trust Litigation