Trust & Estate Disputes

Sometimes litigation is needed to resolve trust disputes and estate disputes. Trustees may breach their fiduciary duties to beneficiaries, or personal representatives may use estate assets for their own personal benefit. Washington law provides a more efficient and less costly way to resolve trust and estate disputes: the Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act (“TEDRA”). TEDRA provides for an initial hearing that can sometimes resolve all matters without a costly and time consuming trial.

TEDRA provides for alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and arbitration. And when the parties agree, or the Court is asked to adjudicate the dispute, TEDRA gives extra flexibility in creating tailored remedies that work for a specific situation.

Even with TEDRA, some trust and estate disputes can be lengthy and costly. We hold trustees and personal representatives accountable for breaches of their fiduciary duties. Set up an appointment to have our Bellingham Probate Litigation Attorney review your particular situation and craft a legal strategy to protect you or get you what you are entitled to.

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Elder Abuse & Inheritance Rights of Abusers

Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of their elderly family members. If your loved one is taken advantage of, stolen from, or otherwise abused, they may be entitled to a vulnerable adult protection order. Washington has very strong laws against elder abuse, and imposes heavy consequences on the abusers, sometimes including forfeiture of all or part of their inheritance.

To make a will or trust, a person must be “of sound mind.” We have experience with cases of elder abuse, and inheritance rights of abusers. If your loved one was subject to undue influence, fraud, or lacked capacity to sign the documents he or she signed, or if you have been wrongfully accused, contact us.

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