Ideally, proper estate planning minimizes the potential for conflict during a person’s lifetime and after they pass away. However, if undesired disputes do arise, you will need competent legal counsel to explain your rights and what possible causes of actions are available to you. As subject matter experts in the areas of estate planning, probate/trust administration, and elder law issues – Pearson Bollman Law has the knowledge and experience to represent your interests effectively.
Pearson Bollman Law practices in the following areas of litigation: probate litigation, trust actions, guardianship/conservatorship disputes, claims against fiduciaries, and elder abuse actions.
Probate Litigation and Trust Actions
The most common type of probate litigation is the “will contest”, which is a lawsuit filed in court challenging the validity of a will. A variety of grounds exist to challenge the validity of a will, and the attorneys at Pearson Bollman Law will be able to assist you in determining whether you have a valid claim.
In addition, beneficiaries under a trust based estate plan may have a claim against one of the following issues: the validity of a trust document, distributions which fail to adhere to trust provisions, improper investments by the trustee, self-dealing by the trustee, and excessive trustee compensation.
Unfortunately, sometimes those who are appointed to care for a loved one overstep their role or fail to act in that individual’s best interest. Disputes surrounding guardianships and conservatorships often include challenging the appointment of an unfit person or seeking the removal of the guardianship/conservatorship entirely, if the ward has capacity to act independently.
Claims against Fiduciaries
A fiduciary is any person who is appointed to act on behalf of another person and to act in their best interest. Common fiduciaries include powers of attorney, guardians/conservators, and trustees. An individual may have a claim against a fiduciary if the fiduciary has abused their power through fraud, self-dealing, unlawful gifting, or unlawful restriction of access to assets.
Elder Abuse Lawsuits
Unfortunately, elderly individuals are sometimes susceptible to undue influence and may become victims of abuse. In response to this concern, the Iowa Legislature adopted new statutory provisions in the spring of 2014 which not only specifically define elder abuse, but also provide a mechanism for obtaining a civil protective order for the victim. The statute includes several forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, neglect, and financial.
Contact Pearson Bollman Law today to find out how we can represent your interests in any litigation.