Probate Litigation in Massachusetts
Our work representing Boston businesses often leads the attorneys at Morisi & Oatway to represent business owners in the more personal areas of estate planning and probate litigation. Our clients trust us to bring the same efficiency and expertise to family legal issues that we do to their business transactions.
We Are Experienced Massachusetts Probate Litigation Attorneys
Probate issues arise during some of the most difficult situations a family can face. Conflicts surrounding wills, trusts, and conservatorships can follow hard on the heels of the death or incapacitation of a loved one. Our clients turn to us in these challenging situations because of the relationships we build with them throughout our work on their business and commercial matters.
Even the most thorough estate plan can sometimes face a court challenge from a disgruntled heir or an unexpected creditor. Conversely, perhaps you are concerned about your parent’s mental state and outside influences when he or she drew up a will, or there is something about the document’s legitimacy that gives you pause. Some of the most common reasons for contesting a will in Massachusetts include:
• Undue influence on the decedent
• Lack of compliance with statutory formalities
• Testamentary incapacity
Our attorneys couple their litigation and dispute resolution skills with the sensitivity necessary to manage often complicated family dynamics and privacy interests. We look to resolve the situation in the way that best suits your needs, whether through litigation or negotiation.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Another issue that drives probate litigation is breach of fiduciary duty. An estate administrator (called a personal representative), a trustee, a guardian, or a conservator are all fiduciaries under the law. As such, they owe the highest duty of care and loyalty to those they represent. When a fiduciary breaches this duty, the beneficiaries can petition the court to have them removed. Grounds for removing a fiduciary include:
• Conflict of interest
• Conversion or fraud
• Failing to act in a beneficiary’s best interest
On the other hand, sometimes a personal representative or trustee is wrongly accused of misconduct. The attorneys of Morisi & Oatway can help whether you have concerns about a trustee’s behavior, or you are a personal representative facing unwarranted scrutiny.
Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney allows an individual to appoint an agent to act on their behalf to handle business and financial matters should they become incompetent. If a family member or other loved one becomes incapacitated without a durable power of attorney in place, the probate court must step in to appoint a guardian or conservator to fulfill the agent’s role. Our knowledgeable attorneys have experience with this process as well.
Contact an Experienced Probate Litigation Attorney at Morisi & Oatway
Our attorneys are well-versed in all areas of probate litigation in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. We have the skills, experience, and discretion to resolve your matter as efficiently and effectively as possible. Contact Catherine Oatway today at 617-479-0400.