Probate & Fiduciary Litigation
The Goulston & Storrs Probate & Fiduciary Litigation group uses an interdisciplinary approach to resolving disputes and interpretive proceedings arising out of the administration of estates and trusts. Our experienced attorneys regularly represent individual and institutional fiduciaries, including trustees, executors, administrators, guardians, as well as individual and charitable beneficiaries in connection with matters involving:
- Will contests and contested accounts
- Claims against fiduciaries
- Trust interpretation and administration
- Trust reformation
- Petitions for Instructions/Declaratory Judgment Actions
- Petitions for Partition
Collectively, we bring over 50 years of experience navigating the Probate and Family Court’s unique rules and procedures, an essential skill for successful probate litigation. Over the years, members of our Probate and Fiduciary Litigation group have served as Court-appointed Guardians Ad Litem in complex probate matters. Additionally, we are distinctly qualified to represent attorneys who act as fiduciaries by drawing upon the resources of our renowned Professional Liability group.
Although we are always prepared to take a matter through to trial, we recognize that probate related disputes are often emotionally charged and implicate significant privacy issues and concerns. We make it a priority to counsel our clients about the risks, costs and benefits of litigation, as well as offer strategic alternatives at the outset of each matter. If our client chooses to pursue litigation, we regularly discuss with our client the potential advantages and disadvantages of settlement and/or Alternative Dispute Resolution at appropriate times during the course of the litigation.
Representative Projects and Transactions
- Representation of a trustee in an action to determine the proper charitable beneficiary under a trust instrument that contained precatory language regarding the use of the proceeds by the charitable beneficiary.
- Successfully obtained a judgment in favor of individual heirs who were seeking to secure the proceeds of a lapsed gift under a will.
- Representation of a charitable beneficiary in a dispute with a trustee over the proper interpretation of the distribution provisions of a trust instrument.
- Representation of children of a decedent, including a mentally disabled adult, in a challenge to a testamentary scheme that left hundreds of millions of dollars to charity.
- Representation of a beneficiary of several family trusts in negotiating an agreement among the trustees and other family beneficiaries regarding the disposition of property in, and distributions to be made from, such trusts.
- Preparation of legal opinions for trustees of trusts relating to a variety of investment, distribution, tax and termination issues.