50 Old Courthouse Square, Suite 601 Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Trusts & Estates Litigation

You need to navigate trust and estate disputes carefully. These cases can be very emotional and cause tension between family members. You need an experienced trust and estate litigation attorney to work with you to get the desired outcome – both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Use these tips to find a good trust and estate litigation attorney to resolve your disputes.

Find a Skilled and Experienced Trust and Estate Litigation Attorney

It’s essential to find an attorney who can fight for you both in the courtroom and at the negotiation table. Learn what skills they need to be successful in either situation to win your case.

Negotiation Table Skills

    When negotiating an outcome, it’s important to find an attorney who can win at the negotiating table by offering the following assistance:
  • • Know when an offer is reasonable: It takes an experienced attorney to be able to correctly evaluate an offer and determine if it’s fair. Your attorney should have an estimated figure you’re willing to settle for. If the other side’s offer is far off, then your attorney can determine when it’s time to stop negotiating and head to court. If the offer is close to the number you’re seeking, then your attorney needs to make a counter proposal to see if you can get closer to the number.
  • • Know when to investigate: If the negotiations are far apart, then you need an attorney who knows when they need to dig into the details and evidence more closely to determine what deal is fair.
  • • Know how and when to reach a compromise: It’s important to find an attorney who is experienced at knowing when it’s possible to reach a compromise at the negotiation table, and when it’s time to go to court.

Courtroom Skills

    When a case needs to go to court, it’s crucial to have a lawyer who is skilled in the courtroom. You need an attorney who can:
  • Effectively present your case: An attorney needs to know the ins and outs of the laws and the courtroom proceedings. This will ensure he or she is arguing effectively on your behalf.
  • Gather witnesses: To best present your case, you might need to bring in witnesses and experts. An experienced attorney will have a network of professionals he or she works with to help.
  • Challenge evidence and rulings: During the court proceedings, there could be rulings or evidence that can hurt your case. You need an attorney who is experienced at properly challenging these to save your case.

Find a Litigation Attorney Who Has Experience With Your Case

    Determine what areas your list of potential trust and estate litigation attorneys specialize in, and what types of cases they take. At Evans Kingsbury LLP, we handle the following types of cases:
  • • Will and trust contests and proceedings. This can include issues related to the validity of the documents, claims of undue influence, and more.
  • • Construction of wills and trusts.
  • • Interpretation of wills and trusts.
  • • Proceedings to determine heirs and beneficiaries.
  • • Cases related to guardianships and conservatorships.
  • • Accounting issues and compliance proceedings regarding trust administration.
  • • Real estate claims and disputes.

Ask Questions and Do Research

Once you have a few potential candidates, it’s essential to find a trust and estate litigation attorney that is the best fit for you. This can include asking attorneys specific questions and doing research to ensure they are the best person to handle your case.

You can start by looking at their website. Learn about the practice areas they specialize in and read the attorney’s biographical information. You can also look at other content on their site, including an FAQ that might address some of your questions. You can also find links to articles the lawyer has authored or appeared in to get a better idea of their expertise.

As a basic rule of thumb, you should also check the state bar association’s website to ensure the attorney is in good standing with the bar.

You should look for any online reviews you can find on the attorney, as well as ask around to see if anyone you know has used this lawyer in the past. A word-of-mouth referral can go a long way.

After your research, if you’re still trying to decide if an attorney is a right fit, you should call his or her office. See how you are treated by the staff and what your first impression is of the practice. If you have specific questions, you should then try to schedule an initial meeting with the attorney to get those answered. During this meeting or phone call, you can ask the attorney what kind of experience they have with your particular case, how they would suggest you proceed with your case, and other questions you might have.

How a Litigation Attorney Can Help

Noreen Evans and Deirdre Kingsbury have represented trustees, beneficiaries, and even attorneys in probate cases at both the trial and appellate levels. Attorney Evans has worked with California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, first as a California State legislator from 2004 – 2014, and now as a private attorney. Deirdre Kingsbury was also the successful appellate attorney in Bonfigli v. Strachan (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 1302, one of the leading cases brought under California’s elder financial abuse statutes. Protecting the interests and desires of our elders is an important mission at Evans Kingsbury LLP.

Call Evans Kingsbury today for a consultation

Office: 707-596-6090
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