Trust and Probate Litigation

We represent clients (as settlors, beneficiaries, trustees or executors, or other interested parties) and serve as attorneys ad litem in all manner of trust and probate litigation. With respect to will and estate matters, we handle will contests (including the enforceability of forfeiture or in terrorem clauses), estate-accounting actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims against executors and administrators, will construction and interpretation suits, actions to remove executors and administrators, and suits to force the closing and distribution of estates. As to trust issues, we engage in all types of trust litigation, including trust-construction, modification, and interpretation actions, trust-accounting questions, breach of fiduciary duty claims against trustees (including allegations of self-dealing and defenses of exculpatory and indemnity clauses), actions to remove trustees, suits to force distributions by a trust, and contested trust matters arising in connection with divorce cases. We also engage in guardianship litigation, including applications to appoint a guardian, contested guardianships, and guardianship accounting matters.

The firm handles litigation involving the above-described issues in federal and state district courts, appellate courts, county courts, and statutory probate courts, in which we have filed the first cases ever in Texas to be certified as class actions in a probate court (later reversed on appeal).

Moreover, the firm undertakes federal and state estate, gift, and inheritance tax controversies, appeals, and litigation before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service (including field audits and appeals) and in all state and federal courts with tax jurisdiction.