Probate and Trust Litigation in South Carolina
Our skilled legal team represents you in court
South Carolina residents use wills and trusts to safeguard their assets and create a legacy. Unfortunately, disagreements frequently arise about the legality of these documents and the manner in which their instructions are being honored. At Acker Lambert Hinton P.A., we are experienced probate and trust litigators who can review the relevant language and deliver clear insight on how a court might apply the law. Whether you’re an estate executor, trustee or someone who is challenging, we have the background and work ethic to assert your case effectively.
Pickens law firm handles will contests
A will is the cornerstone of a comprehensive estate planning strategy, but will contests can arise even when someone has taken great care to create their testamentary documents. In cases where fraud, mistake, lack of legal formation or other flaws are alleged, our skillful litigators analyze the relevant facts and offer an informed assessment as to whether the will is valid. From there, we develop a strategy to support our clients’ position. Should you be considering a will contest, you need to act promptly as delaying might prevent you from bringing your claim whether the estate is settled through formal or informal probate.
Litigation involving an alleged breach of fiduciary duty
Trustees and estate representatives have a fiduciary duty to carry out the instructions issued in a valid legal instrument. When this does not occur, the intent of the trust or will creator is thwarted and beneficiaries can bring legal action seeking relief, which might include compensation, removal of the fiduciary or other sanctions. A common accusation in these cases is that the fiduciary is acting in their own interests rather than enforcing the terms of the will or trust. Trustees are sometimes accused of mismanaging investments or other trust assets to the detriment of beneficiaries. We are familiar with these types of claims and will press for a positive resolution.
Allegations of undue influence
After a will or trust is read, someone disappointed with the terms might allege that a beneficiary or someone else exercised undue influence over the testator. However, it can be difficult to distinguish illegal coercion from the legitimate effect that loved ones might have over someone’s final wishes. In cases where a question of undue influence exists, we examine the circumstances thoroughly and deliver honest counsel as to whether legal grounds exist to invalidate the document. If probate or trust litigation is warranted, we gather the evidence necessary to argue that the language in the document is the result of improper force applied by someone on the instrument’s creator. Our firm also represents fiduciaries who are combating undue influence allegations.
Lack of capacity
If you are concerned that the individual who created a will or trust lacked the requisite mental capacity to make sound choices, or if you’re the executor or trustee of an instrument that is being challenged, our experienced lawyers can help. A lack of legal capacity requires more than occasional forgetfulness or confusion. Before you determine how to proceed, it is wise to speak with a qualified probate attorney who can assess how a court might view the situation in your case. You can rely on us for honest counsel and effective advocacy whether you are alleging a lack of capacity or defending the document as it is written.
Contact a South Carolina probate and trust litigation attorney for a free consultation
Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. in Pickens handles South Carolina probate and trust litigation matters for executors, trustees and potential beneficiaries. Please call 864-668-1013 or contact us online to make an appointment for a free consultation.