Losing a loved one is a difficult experience that can be made even more challenging when disagreements among family members over the decedent’s property or the handling of the estate become legal disputes. Unfortunately, many Louisianans find themselves in situations just like this after a relative’s death. Sound familiar?
If you’re embroiled in conflict over matters related to a loved one’s will, trust, or estate, there’s far too much at stake to go it alone. You need a highly skilled New Orleans trusts and estates lawyer with a deep understanding of Louisiana succession laws and how to use them to your advantage. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right law firm.
Our New Orleans Estate Litigation Lawyers Protect Your Rights and Interests
At Scott Vicknair, LLC, our accomplished trust and estates lawyers help clients successfully navigate contentious family dynamics and complex succession statutes to achieve their legal goals regarding a deceased loved one’s estate. Our team boasts diverse experience, top-notch skills both in and out of the courtroom, and an unwavering commitment to provide every client with exceptional legal services, and attentive, responsive support. The following are just a few of the many estate and trust litigation matters we handle.
A last will and testament is a legal document that allows the testator to state who (and how) they want their estate managed after death, including passing assets to beneficiaries and naming guardians for minor children. Disputes can occur when there are questions surrounding the authenticity of the document, whether the testator was unduly influenced, or an individual’s legal right to inherit.
When Louisianans die without a will, their estate is settled—and assets are distributed—according to intestate succession laws, rather than the decedent’s wishes. These laws pass property to heirs in a specific order and also determine what percentage of available assets each person inherits. Oftentimes, this can lead to estranged or undeserving individuals inheriting, while close friends or extended kin are left out.
Estate planning trusts allow the grantor to pass property to beneficiaries after their death while avoiding the complex, complicated, and often expensive succession process, also known as probate. Common reasons for disputing trusts are similar to the reasons people contest wills—questions about authenticity, undue influence, fiduciary actions, and whether the document was executed properly.
Interdiction is a legal process that determines whether an individual is consistently capable of making their own decisions regarding their person or property and communicating those decisions to others. If the court rules an individual is unable to do so as the result of dementia or another condition, it will appoint a curator to handle their affairs.
Breach of Fiduciary and Executor Fraud or Incompetence Claims
Executors, trustees, and curators are tasked with acting in the interests of a deceased or interdicted individual. Claims of fraud, incompetence, or breached fiduciary duty can arise when people in these roles serve their own interests (at the expense of the estate and its beneficiaries), misappropriate money or property, ignore time-sensitive deadlines, or fail to comply with succession laws and regulations.
Grieving, Frustrated, and Overwhelmed? Let Us Help
Dealing with estate and trust-related disputes in New Orleans can be exhausting, time-consuming, and overwhelming—especially when you’re trying to process your grief and comfort your loved ones.
- Have doubts about the validity of a deceased relative’s last will and testament?
- Concerned that a succession or trust proceeding’s been mishandled?
- Worried about a disinherited family member challenging a will that you believe is valid?
- Want to hold a succession representative, executor, trustee, or curator accountable for fraud or incompetence?
- Have your actions as an executor, trustee, or curator been called into question?
Let us provide the high-quality legal services and support you need. We’ll take care of all the heavy lifting, so you can focus on what matters most: your family.
New Orleans state Trust Litigation Lawyers FAQs
If you’re involved in estate or trust matters, working with New Orleans estate trust litigation lawyers can help. Estate and trust litigation can be complex, and having skilled attorneys by your side is crucial. In this FAQ, our Scott Vicknair, LLC team will address common questions regarding estate planning and trusts.
What is estate and trust litigation?
Estate and trust litigation refers to legal disputes arising from issues related to wills, trusts, estates, and probate. It involves conflicts over the administration, distribution, interpretation, or validity of an individual’s estate or trust assets. Estate trust litigation lawyers specialize in representing clients in these disputes, advocating for their interests, and navigating the legal complexities of the process.
Why do I need an estate trust litigation lawyer in New Orleans?
Working with New Orleans estate trust litigation lawyers can help for several reasons. These attorneys possess specialized knowledge of Louisiana’s estate and trust laws, as well as the specific probate procedures in the state. They can provide you with expert advice, guide you through the litigation process, and protect your rights and interests. Additionally, they have the skills and experience necessary to navigate complex legal issues, negotiate settlements, and represent you in court if required.
What services do estate trust litigation lawyers offer?
Estate trust litigation attorneys can provide various services, including the following:
- Will contests: Lawyers can represent clients in disputes over the validity of a will, allegations of undue influence, lack of capacity, or improper execution.
- Trust litigation: Attorneys can handle conflicts related to the administration, interpretation, or modification of trusts, breach of fiduciary duty claims, or disputes among beneficiaries.
- Probate litigation: Lawyers can assist with challenges to the probate process, including allegations of fraud, improper distribution, or mismanagement of assets.
- Guardianship and conservatorship disputes: Attorneys can represent parties involved in disagreements over the appointment or actions of guardians or conservators.
- Asset valuation and distribution: Lawyers can assist in valuing estate or trust assets, resolving disputes regarding asset distribution, and handling complex financial matters.
How do I choose the right estate trust litigation lawyer in New Orleans?
Choosing the right estate trust litigation lawyer is crucial for a successful outcome. When choosing your attorney, consider the following factors:
- Experience: Look for attorneys with a proven track record in estate and trust litigation. They should have extensive experience handling cases similar to yours.
- Expertise: Ensure the attorney specializes in estate and trust law and has in-depth knowledge of Louisiana’s specific laws and regulations.
- Reputation: Research client testimonials, reviews, and case outcomes to gauge an attorney’s reputation, professionalism, and success rate.
- Communication: Choose an attorney who communicates clearly, listens to your concerns, and keeps you informed throughout the litigation process.
- Compatibility: Building a rapport with your attorney is essential. Select someone with whom you feel comfortable working closely, as estate and trust litigation can be lengthy and emotionally challenging.
How much does an estate trust litigation lawyer cost in New Orleans?
The cost of hiring an estate trust litigation lawyer can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the attorney’s experience, and the amount of time and resources required. Some attorneys charge an hourly rate, while others may work on a contingency fee basis or offer flat-fee arrangements. Upon your initial consultation, you should always discuss with a prospective attorney how their fees work.
How long does estate and trust litigation typically take?
The duration of estate and trust litigation can vary widely, depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the court’s docket, and the willingness of parties to reach a settlement. Some cases can be resolved through negotiation or mediation in a few months, while others may take years if litigation is required. A qualified attorney should be able to provide an estimated timeframe while also telling you which factors can affect this timeline.
Why is litigation often the better solution than mediation in resolving trust disputes?
By far, litigation is often the better solution versus trying mediation. Trust disputes can involve complex legal issues, significant financial stakes, and deep emotional tensions among the parties involved. Litigation provides a formal process where each side can present their case, conduct discovery, and have a judge or jury make a legally binding decision. This process allows for a thorough examination of the evidence, legal arguments, and applicable laws, ensuring a fair resolution and protecting the rights and interests of the parties involved.
Navigating estate and trust litigation in New Orleans can be challenging without the assistance of experienced lawyers. By engaging the services of skilled estate trust litigation attorneys, you can protect your interests, resolve disputes effectively, and ensure a favorable outcome. Choose an attorney with expertise in estate and trust law, a strong reputation, and effective communication skills to guide you through the complexities of estate and trust litigation. Work with qualified New Orleans estate trust litigation lawyers today by reaching out to our Scott Vicknair, LLC team!
Contact a New Orleans Trusts and Estates Attorney to Discuss Your Legal Needs
Ready to find out what our award-winning and nationally recognized New Orleans estate and trust litigation lawyers can do for you? Contact us today and we’ll be in touch to discuss your case.