Estate and Probate Litigation

When a loved one passes away or begins to suffer from dementia or other age related infirmities, family members and beneficiaries may challenge certain aspects of that person’s last will and testament. This process is known as probate litigation. These can be very difficult issues, as there’s often a lot of emotion involved on all sides. The litigators at Rathbun Bateman, P.C. are experienced trial attorneys who represent clients in some of the most complex disputes involving trusts, estates, and conservatorships.  We have represented clients in claims against fiduciaries, will and trust contests, and guardianship and conservatorship disputes and more.  Rathbun Bateman, P.C. combines a depth of substantive knowledge of estate law with seasoned trial lawyers with years of experience in prosecuting estate claims.  Moreover, we leverage additional resources from the longstanding relationships we acquired over the years in prosecuting such cases to promote the best outcome possible.  Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting the financial security and well-being of you and your family.

Areas of Real Estate Litigation include:

  • Misappropriation
  • Undue Influence
  • Will Contests
  • Contested Guardianship and Conservatorship
  • Breaches of Fiduciary Duties
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Fraud
  • Demands for Accounting

Common issues in probate litigation

At its most basic level, probate litigation is the challenging of estate documents, such as a will, power of attorney, trust, or advanced medical directive.  The following are some of the most common issues:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty: If an estate executor/administrator fails to uphold the clear guidelines in a will or other estate planning documents, that individual may have breached his or her fiduciary duty. It may be necessary for the beneficiaries to take legal action to replace the executor/administrator.
  • Lack of capacity: In some cases, the friends and family members of the deceased may argue that the individual who executed estate documents, (such as a will, trust, power of attorney, or advanced medical directive) did not have the capacity to do so because of an illness or injury. If this was the case, a court may deem the document invalid.
  • Undue influence: Another common argument is that another party had undue influence on the deceased individual before he or she died or became incapacitated, resulting in unwanted changes to the estate plan.  This may stem from the actions of friends, family members, fiduciaries or business partners.

Consult an Experienced Probate Litigation Attorney

Rathbun Bateman, P.C. is located in Fairfax, Virginia and represents clients throughout Virginia. Call us at 703.383.9580 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Estate and Probate Litigation