Estate and Trust Valuable Services Page

estate, trust and fiduciary

Valuable Services


If you are wondering whether you should consult an attorney regarding an estate, trust or fiduciary dispute, consider the following services that a dispute resolution attorney can provide:

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  • Investigate and determine whether the circumstances of your case require the representation of an attorney.

  • Review and analyze all available documentation that you, your agent or your estate planning attorney can provide (i.e., wills, codicils, revocations, trusts, amendments to trusts, powers of attorney, etc.) so that informed recommendations and decisions can be made.

  • Take immediate steps through court and/or administrative processes, as appropriate, to protect your rights and interests.

  • Investigate whether an estate has been or should be opened.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding potential will or trust disputes including, for example, concerns related to ambiguities in the documents, invalid execution, fraud, lack of capacity, mental or physical undue influence, revocation of a trust and/or revocation of a will by the later execution of another document.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding the administration of an estate or trust and/or the use of a power of attorney including, for example, concerns related to the retention, liquidation or distribution of property and business interests, division and/or transfer of property, life estate interests, disputed inventories, commissions and expenses, appraisals and distributions of personal property.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding potential claims against an estate, trust or fiduciary including, for example, the legal bases for such claims, statutory filing deadlines, statutes of limitations, defenses and other matters.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding the interpretation of a will, a trust document or similar instrument including, for example, concerns related to ambiguous terms and points of disagreement amongst interested parties.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding the rights and interests of interested persons in the estate of a person who has died without a will (i.e., intestate), including, for example, concerns related to persons entitled to be appointed as personal representative and identification of interested parties.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding the mental and/or physical capacity of a person executing a will, trust, power of attorney or similar document and/or for whom a guardianship of person or property may be sought.

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding transactions by a personal representative, trustee, fiduciary and/or person in a confidential relationship (i.e., a relationship in which one party is under the domination or control of another or where one party is justified under the circumstances in assuming that the other will not act in a manner inconsistent with his welfare).

  • Investigate and identify possible concerns regarding the existence or imposition of a constructive trust including, for example, instances in which property may have been obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or breach of a confidential relationship and/or instances in which one person may have a higher equitable call to property titled in another’s name.

  • Identify possibilities for insurance coverage (i.e., life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, errors and omissions/professional liability insurance, umbrella insurance, other forms of liability insurance, etc.).

  • Identify responsible parties and possible remedies including, in some cases, demands for accounting, petitions to caveat, petitions to assume jurisdiction and declaratory judgment actions to clarify ambiguities.


- Research and identify the applicable law.

- Research public records, conduct witness interviews and/or identify experts (i.e., accountants, appraisers, surveyors, etc.) depending on the need of a particular case.

- Provide you with straightforward advice at the outset and throughout the course of a case about its strengths and weaknesses based on the information then known to us, so that you can make informed decisions to resolve some or all issues and/or to surgically target issues of particular concern.Resolve cases through negotiation if that is possible and/or pursue mediation if the parties have agreed to mediate, because litigation is the least efficient means of resolving disputes.

- Take cases to mediation if that is appropriate, inasmuch as mediation can be an effective tool to reach informal resolutions in cases, including those that may be particularly difficult to settle.

- Prepare and pursue a case in court or in arbitration if it cannot be resolved informally.


In many instances, valuable rights and property interests are involved in estate, trust and fiduciary disputes and there are critical deadlines that have to be met.  If those deadlines are missed, important rights and property interests may be lost. An attorney can help you navigate an effective resolution of your dispute. 

A lawyer has years of training and expertise in the law.  Consulting a lawyer will help you analyze your options under the facts of your particular case to help you obtain the best possible result.  

Call us at Jacobs & Barney at 800-830-1250 to discuss your legal matter.