Trusts and estates cases often involve layers of complexity--the interpretation of trust instruments and wills, the scope of fiduciary obligations, family discord and strife, managing businesses in which trusts have partial or complete ownership, valuation and accounting for trust assets such as closely-held companies and real estate holdings, tax ramifications that impact trust and probate administration, and personal property issues. At Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, we approach these issues, not only with our well-honed litigation skills, but with pragmatism and solution-driven thinking, always mindful of the monetary and emotional costs that are an inherent part of this type of dispute. In addition to our estates and trusts litigators, we have teams of estate planners, tax attorneys, real estate attorneys, and environmental attorneys to lend their specialized knowledge as needed.

We handle a broad range of complex trusts and estates litigation and regularly provide advice in contentious trusts and estates matters in an effort to help our clients resolve issues without litigation when possible. We act on behalf of institutional and individual trustees, fiduciaries, and beneficiaries, including charitable and nonprofit organizations.

By way of example, we have handled claims and litigation including:

  • Breaches of fiduciary duty claims based on accounting for and valuation of trust assets, scope and magnitude of discretionary distributions, administration of significant and complex trusts, tax issues, and management of trust assets including real property and ownership interests in limited liability companies
  • Disputes arising from ambiguous provisions in wills and trusts
  • Trust and will contests
  • Disputes over trustee compensation
  • Undue influence and incapacity claims
  • Trust modification and termination matters
  • Disputed bequests to charitable and nonprofit organizations
  • Enforceability of charitable pledge agreements
  • Contested conservatorship and guardianship proceedings