Find Lawyers in Denver, Colorado for Litigation - Trusts and Estates
Practice Area Overview
Trusts and Estates Litigation proceedings encompass a variety of matters including conservatorships, guardianships, will contests, claims or defense of claims of breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees and other fiduciaries (e.g., self-dealing, conflicts of interest, breach of trust), accountings, petitions for court instructions, issues of trust modification and reformation, allegations or protection from allegations of undue influence or fraudulent conveyances, and interpretation, advocacy, or defense of testamentary capacity and decedent’s intent.
The practice of Trusts and Estates also includes litigation prevention matters including review and consultation of the policies, practices, and proposed actions of corporate, charitable, and individual fiduciaries against national or state standards for acceptable fiduciary conduct, such as the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, Uniform Principal and Income Act, and malpractice standards.
All of these proceedings take place under the auspices of state Probate Codes and the nuanced procedures of the probate and surrogate courts – the statutory authority and venue under which nearly all trust, probate, guardianship, and conservatorship matters are adjudicated.
Clients vary widely by case and include corporate or individual fiduciaries, such as trustees, executors, administrators, guardians, and conservators, and also include corporate and individual beneficiaries, conservatees, and wards.
Lawyers practicing in this area combine substantive expertise in their states' laws governing the administration of decedents’ estates, wills and intestate succession, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, and other fiduciary issues with years of experience trying cases before both judges and juries. Lawyers also must take a collaborative and cross-disciplinary analytical approach with other disciplines such as estate planning, real estate, bankruptcy, corporate, and securities law, as well as complex civil and appellate law.
Beyond the difficult legal proficiencies demanded of lawyers in this practice area, cases involving Trusts and Estates issues also require special skills and experience in dealing with the psychology of difficult family relationships, shattering emotional experiences, such as death and incapacity, and often ill-thought-out estate plans.
In selecting counsel in a Trusts and Estates Litigation matter, it is critical to select experienced counsel as these types of cases are fraught with procedural, ethical, and state and federal tax minefields. The best of the best in this field not only bring substantial litigation and probate court experience, but also have additional skills as mediators, arbitrators, and negotiators in the non-litigated resolution of trust, estate, and protective proceedings controversies, helping resolve extremely difficult cases without costly litigation.
Since 1987, Dave has developed innovative solutions to help businesses and individuals manage their wealth and reduce their potential tax liabilities. He focuses his practice on wealth transfer planning and large trust administration for clients with estates worth more than $100 million. He also counsels clients on tax controversy and business succession planning. Dave has implemented more than 150 sophisticated wealth transfer and estate plans for clients all across the west. His background ...
An experienced and accomplished litigator, Billy’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation and business disputes. He defends business clients involved in product liability defense, franchise and distribution disputes, insurance defense and coverage issues, trust and estate litigation, as well as real estate litigation. Billy’s practice has also included representation of clients in a variety of appellate courts, including the Colorado Court of Appeals, the federal Fourth and ...
Keith Lapuyade has more than 30 years of litigation experience. His knowledge of insurance law and bad faith, coupled with his extensive understanding of medical issues, is of particular value in medical malpractice litigation and often brings this special skill-set to bear in the personal representation of physicians, attorneys, and other professionals for purposes of establishing their rights with respect to their insurance coverage and financial well-being. Keith Lapuyade, of the law firm ...
Carol concentrates her practice in several related areas. One is estate and wealth transfer planning and administration, in which her clients include executives, owners of closely-held businesses, and families of significant wealth. Another is as a member of the Firm’s Trust & Estate Litigation Group in which she litigates on behalf of trustees and other fiduciaries (both individual and corporate), heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors in the resolution of probate- or trust-related di...
James (“Jim”) Fogg practices primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, professional negligence, with an emphasis on plaintiff-side legal malpractice, personal injury, and trust and estate litigation. He recognizes that clients come to him because of problems that they cannot solve on their own and that every problem is unique. Jim prides himself on listening to his clients, developing a keen understanding of the issues, and crafting an approach that makes sense, both legall...
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