A will is supposed to make clear the wishes of the deceased, but in many cases the document is ambiguous or erroneous as to the decedent's true desires. A disputed will often pits family members against each other, which can escalate into a bitter and drawn-out legal battle.
The law firm of McBrayer handles estate and trust litigation throughout the state of Kentucky. Not only can we intervene to resolve issues and assist with the administration when the parties are amenable, we can also provide strong representation as a formidable opponent in court during contested probate proceedings.
Will Contests and Probate Disputes
Our probate litigation attorney represents beneficiaries of the estate in protecting their inheritance. We also represent excluded heirs or prior beneficiaries, such as a sibling or spouse who was unfairly slighted or cut out of the will entirely. We have initiated and defended many will contest scenarios:
- Wills not properly witnessed, signed or submitted to probate
- Lack of testamentary capacity (dementia)
- Undue influence or fraud
- Missing or misappropriated assets
- Claims against the estate by creditors
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Renunciation of interests or electing statutory share
|In a recent notable and challenging case, McBrayer attorneys represented a non-family caregiver who was named the primary beneficiary of a substantial estate. The deceased's siblings presented her with a new will very shortly before her death, leaving them her property and eliminating the benefit to our caregiver client. We challenged the deathbed will as corrupt and succeeded in having it thrown out of court, restoring the benefits to the caregiver.
Family v. Family: Sensitive Solutions in Probate Law
Increasingly, probate litigation involves disputes between the named beneficiaries of the estate. We routinely handle scenarios of family members pitted against each other, whether allegations of dishonest behavior or merely disputes over how to divide or value the estate fairly. We acknowledge clients considering litigation as being members of a family, and as such the familial unit will remain after the dust clears. We advocate effectively for our clients while striking the right conciliatory chord to try to avoid causing permanent rifts. In many cases, we can negotiate an outcome that keeps the family peace without full-fledged litigation.
We also handle breach of fiduciary duty litigation in which the personal representative or trustee is accused of wrongdoing. In a recent case in which an executor had written checks to himself for outrageous sums and dwindled a nearly half-million-dollar estate to just $13, we recovered $400,000 on behalf of the rightful beneficiaries and creditors.
Experienced Kentucky Probate Lawyers
Our Kentucky estate and trust litigation attorneys can shepherd clients through the probate process, dealing with creditor claims or providing plaintiff or defense representation in disputes with relatives.
With law offices in Lexington and Louisville, we serve Kentucky statewide. Many of our clients own real property in other states; we are well versed in concluding those estate issues as well. We also represent out-of-state beneficiaries or personal representatives nationwide who need legal representation in a Kentucky probate dispute.
News & Insights
- June 20, 2023
- November 3, 2022
- November 5, 2021
- November 4, 2021
- February 26, 2021
- Attorneys from McBrayer law offices in Lexington and Louisville achieved a 2018 listing in U.S. News Best Lawyers in AmericaAugust 15, 2017
- January 4, 2017
- Steps to Take After the Death of a Loved One July 10, 2019
- Revocable Trusts: An Alternative Route February 26, 2018