Fiduciary/Probate Litigation and Contested Guardianships
A fiduciary is someone who is entrusted to act in another person’s interest, even to the detriment of their own interests. An executor named in a Will is a fiduciary and is obligated to carry out the instructions in the Will and act in the interest of the beneficiaries of the Will. An administrator for an Intestate Estate (for someone who died without a Will) is a fiduciary and is required to act in the interest of the heirs of the estate. An agent under a power of attorney also is a fiduciary, and is required to act in the best interests of the person who appointed them.
“We’re here to ensure that your assets, and your loved ones and their assets, are in safe hands.”
Sometimes the people who have been trusted to act as fiduciaries do not carry out their duties in a loyal and responsible way. When that happens, it may be necessary to invoke the power and oversight of the court to protect those who are relying on the fiduciary to act in their interest. Also, sometimes there is a concern that a family member, friend, or other third party has coerced a vulnerable person to sign a Will or power of attorney that does not actually reflect that person’s wishes. Any of these circumstances may require litigation to protect the vulnerable individual who is being exploited or to ensure the instructions in the Will are followed.
If there is disagreement about who should be appointed to be a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person, or who should be appointed to administer an estate for someone who died without a Will, the court is the place where those disputes are heard and resolved.
A Personal Approach to Fiduciary Litigation
We take litigation personally. We understand it is expensive and stressful, and we will do whatever we can to help you and your loved ones stay out of court and out of conflict. But, in the event going to court is necessary or unavoidable, we’re ready, and extremely well prepared to stand up for you and your loved ones.
Michael and Lelia Winget-Hernandez were litigators first. Each of them spent the majority of their career suing pharmaceutical companies for fraud to recover taxpayer dollars. Having practiced at the very highest level, where the issues were complex and millions of dollars were at stake, they are extremely well prepared to initiate and defend litigation. Michael and Lelia also have been litigation clients, having to bring and defend litigation as part of their previous divorces. Michael and Lelia understand how important it is to their clients that they are heard, that they are responded to, and that they are given the information they need to thoroughly consider the costs and benefits of litigation.
If you are considering litigation to enforce your rights or protect the rights of a vulnerable loved one, call or email us today to schedule a free initial consultation.