Probate Litigation

Overview                                                                                                                                                                                   

Resolving probate disputes can be a daunting and time-consuming endeavor. These disputes are often more difficult because of the unique body of law relating to the many legal issues that arise in such disputes as well as the unique procedures often applicable to the probate dispute resolution process. Robinson+Cole's probate litigation lawyers are experienced in the laws of trusts, estates, and fiduciary respresention and efficiently utilize the unique probate procedures to help clients efficiently manage and resolve disputes. Our representation extends to matters in probate courts, state courts, federal courts, and alternative dispute forums. At times we represent the estate or trust fiduciaries and, at other times, the interested heirs, beneficiaries, insurance companies, or other interested parties.

Our Services and Our Team

The matters our lawyers work on include, for example, the following:

  • will contests based on lack of capacity, undue influence/fraud, and/or due execution
  • guardianship and conservatorship appointments, both seeking and defending
  • breach of fiduciary duty claims representing either the claimant or the fiduciary
  • contested accountings
  • construction actions
  • heir determination proceedings
  • claims by or against the fiduciary against third parties alleging damages
  • counsel to nonprofits on beneficial rights in various estates and trusts.

Our probate litigation lawyers not only represent institutions in a fiduciary capacity but also represent beneficiaries, both individuals and institutions. One of our probate litigators, Christopher Hug, has been an active member of the Connecticut Probate Practice Book Advisory Committee and helped draft the Rules of Practice for Connecticut Probate Courts, approved by the Connecticut Supreme Court on November 7, 2012, effective July 1, 2013. He has lectured on the rules and other probate law topics to the Connecticut Bar Association, the probate judiciary, and health care clients. Finally, he is a longtime adjunct professor of law and teaches a class on probate litigation in the LL.M. program at Western New England University School of Law.

    • Experience
      • Defended an individual fiduciary in a claim that 19th century fine art was sold at less than fair value, resulting in a successful resolution.

      • Represented a  nonprofit educational foundation in claims in connection with beneficial interest as remainder beneficiary under a trust.

      • Represented family members seeking to change the situs of a trust.

      • Defended nominated fiduciary against claims of incapacity, undue influence, and misappropriation of assets from mother’s estate.

      • Represented family member in seeking a conservator of estate and person for a traumatic brain injury victim.

      • Represented out-of-state guardians in proceedings relating to enforce property claims in connection with a ward’s estate.

      • Defended an executor against claims of misappropriation of estate assets.

      • Represented  an institutional conservator of an estate for more than 10 years arising out elder financial abuse by the caretakers.

      • Represent the beneficiary of a  will and trust in a will construction action and the effect of an in terrorem clause.

      • Represented an institutional fiduciary defending claims by an alleged caretaker against the estate and trust of a deceased person.

      • Represented heir of an estate involving claims related to election of marital deduction and will construction matters.

      • Counseled  family members in connection with potential claims against the executor of a mother's estate for mismanagement of assets.

      • Represented individual beneficiary of family trusts against trustees for accounting and breach of fiduciary duty claims.

      • Represented institutional fiduciary in scrivener's error in a construction action.

      • Represented individual beneficiaries of an estate against a sibling who converted the mother’s assets.

      • Represented large institution trustees in connection with the construction of a trust drafted in 1952, including a successful defense of our position at the Connecticut Appellate Court.

      • Defended probate bond insurer for claims against its principal, a conservator of the estate, for massive misappropriation of funds.

      • Represented individual beneficiaries in a claim brought by other beneficiaries seeking to determine whether a general power of appointment had been properly exercised.

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Our Team

Members