Fiduciary litigation and other disputes involving estates and trusts are an unfortunate fact of contemporary life. Although disputes are the exception rather than the rule, increasing wealth transfers between generations, and the complexities of family, social and economic dynamics, have led to a corresponding increase in disputes involving estates and trusts.
Many disputes are driven by family dynamics. Relationships within families, particularly when substantial wealth is involved, are often emotionally charged. When these factors are exacerbated by the passing of a family member, the result can be contentious litigation.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that with the help of a skilled, experienced and fair-minded professional, most disputes are amenable to resolution by a negotiated agreement. Most disputes settle out of court, and most parties to a dispute prefer an amicable resolution to the expense, delay and unpredictability of having a court make a decision after a trial. We do, too. Our goal, always, is to resolve disputes privately. That being said, if litigation is unavoidable, we will advocate fearlessly on behalf of our clients — we fight hard, and fight to win. Success in adversarial proceedings is not the result of bravado or theatrics. It’s the result of thorough preparation and a strategy that’s informed by experience.
An important aspect of this is understanding that litigation and other disputes are fundamentally backward-looking, dealing with events and relationships from the past. They may involve a certain degree of risk of what we think of as life-altering negative outcomes. Our goal is to create a more forward-looking perspective, and when possible, to minimize our clients’ exposure to risks.
With these goals in mind, our lawyers have represented personal representatives (executors), trustees, beneficiaries, business and financial institutions, charities and nonprofits in fiduciary, estate and trust disputes across the state of Colorado. Our professionalism and extensive experience in state and tribal courts benefit all of our clients.
We have represented clients in all types of disputes, including claims of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, disputes over division and distribution of assets, conflicts of interest of fiduciaries, allegations of fraud or forgery, fiduciary surcharge actions, and actions involving petitions to remove personal representatives, trustees and other fiduciaries. We have also dealt with tax and other litigation, including closely held business disputes, succession challenges, valuation disputes, and income and estate tax conflicts.
Whether we are pursuing a negotiated or litigated resolution, we bring decades of experience to bear on behalf of our clients with the goal of arriving at a favorable result and allowing clients to get on with their lives.