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Tampa Probate Lawyer / Tampa Estate & Trust Litigation Lawyer

Tampa Estate & Trust Litigation Lawyer

Estate and trust litigation encompasses legal disputes that arise in the context of estate planning, trust administration, and probate proceedings. These disputes can involve complex legal issues and emotionally charged situations, often among family members or beneficiaries. Messina Law Group offers zealous advocacy in these moments, protecting your valuable rights and interests while working to resolve the matter efficiently and effectively. Contact our Tampa estate & trust litigation lawyer today for immediate assistance.

Common Types of Estate & Trust Litigation

  1. Will Contests: Disputes may arise over the validity of a will. Grounds for contesting a will include undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, or improper execution.
  2. Trust Disputes: Similar to will contests, trust disputes can involve challenges to the validity of a trust, allegations of trustee misconduct, or disagreements over the interpretation of trust terms.
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Executors, trustees, and other fiduciaries have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Breach of fiduciary duty claims may arise when there is a failure to properly manage estate or trust assets, self-dealing, or neglect of fiduciary responsibilities.
  4. Accounting Disputes: Beneficiaries may seek a formal accounting of the estate or trust assets and question the accuracy or completeness of the financial records presented by the fiduciary.
  5. Guardianship Litigation: Disputes can occur over the appointment of guardians for minors or incapacitated adults, as well as over the actions of an appointed guardian.

The Legal Process in Estate & Trust Litigation

The legal process for estate and trust litigation in Florida generally involves the following steps:

  1. Filing a Complaint or Petition: The party initiating the litigation must file a formal complaint or petition with the appropriate court, outlining the basis for the dispute and the relief sought. In Tampa, cases will typically be filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, depending on where the parties and property are located and other factors.
  2. Notification: All interested parties, including beneficiaries, heirs, and fiduciaries, must be notified of the litigation and given an opportunity to respond.
  3. Discovery: Both sides may engage in discovery, a process of exchanging information and gathering evidence relevant to the case.
  4. Mediation or Settlement Negotiations: Many disputes are resolved through mediation or settlement negotiations, which can be more cost-effective and less adversarial alternatives to trial.
  5. Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge (and sometimes a jury) will hear evidence and make a decision on the merits of the case.

Protecting Your Rights in Tampa Estate & Trust Litigation

If you are involved in an estate or trust dispute in Tampa, Florida, it is important to seek legal representation from an experienced estate planning attorney who is familiar with local rules of court procedure in Hillsborough County. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the complex legal landscape, protect your rights and interests, and work toward a resolution that honors the intentions of the deceased and the rights of the beneficiaries.

Whether you are contesting a will, challenging a trustee’s actions, or defending against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, Messina Law Group can provide the guidance and advocacy you need during this challenging time. Call 813-492-7798 to speak with our experienced and dedicated Tampa estate & trust litigation lawyer.

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