Will and trust contests and estate controversies

When settling the estate of a high net worth individual, issues of controversy often surround the validity or interpretation of the decedent's will or trust. While it is much less likely to occur when the decedent's estate plan was properly drafted by an experienced estate planning attorney, the estate administration process provides an opportunity for anyone with an interest in the estate to formally challenge its terms’ validity. This challenge is known as a "will contest" or "trust contest" and is a complex matter handled through the courts.

Other areas of contention may include fiduciary appointments, removal and surcharge, actions for breach of fiduciary duties and to compel accountings, We also prepare declaratory relief actions, petitions seeking instructions and construction or modification of trust documents, disputes regarding title, actions to contest and defend estate planning documents, conservatorship matters and financial elder abuse recovery.

GillPierson attorneys have spent the last four decades handling every aspect of estate plans from preparing documents to administering plans to the intelligent resolution of estate controversies.

Our clients benefit from the comprehensive nature of our services, as well as our familiarity with the law and our meticulous attention to detail.



Let GillPierson represent you in estate and trust disputes

When someone dies or loses capacity, disputes can arise regarding the estate. These disputes frequently turn into costly, time-consuming and stressful court battles that intensify the pain associated with losing a loved one.

GillPierson’s experienced estate controversy lawyers understand the emotional and family dynamics involved, and will aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Dispute representation through mediation and litigation

We provide strong representation for beneficiaries and fiduciaries involved in a broad range of estate litigation matters, including:

• Will and Trust disputes
• Fiduciary appointment and duties
• Fiduciary removal and surcharge
• Actions for breach of fiduciary duty
• Actions to compel accounting
• Disputes regarding title to real property
• Interpretation of estate planning documents
• Disputes regarding a decedent's mental capacity
• Conservatorship controversies
• Allegations of undue influence
• Financial elder abuse recovery
• Tax controversies

We are dedicated to being honest and forthright in our communication and educating our clients on their rights and obligations. We regularly use both mediation and litigation to resolve estate controversies in a manner that is timely, cost-efficient and protective of our clients' best interests. We also represent clients in audits and dispute with the I.R.S. concerning a decedent's gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax issues.

Michael J. Gill (Ret.) and Elizabeth T. Pierson

Call 310-482-3544 • Email Elizabeth

GillPierson, LLP
2601 Ocean Park Bl., Suite 215 • Santa Monica, CA 90405 • MAP

Request an appointment Evening, weekend and offsite appointments are available upon special request.