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214-691-3411
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Mesquite Estate Litigation Lawyers

Mourning the loss of a loved one is incredibly difficult. When disputes arise with their estate, it only makes it more stressful.

If you have an estate-related dispute, the Staubus and Randall estate litigation lawyers in Mesquite, TX, can help. Call us today at 214-691-3411 to schedule a free consultation.

Estate Litigation Cases We Handle

At Staubus and Randall, we help clients with their estate planning and represent them in disputes over estates in which they have an interest. The team of attorneys at Staubus and Randall is highly skilled in handling various estate cases, some of which are explained below.

Disputes Between Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries that are named in wills can have competing interests. For example, a beneficiary may believe that they have a right to certain assets or property that their deceased loved one didn’t grant to them in their will. Beneficiaries can seek legal recourse to resolve their disputes.

Rights of Creditors to Recoup Debts They Are Owed

mesquite estate litigation lawyerWhen a testator (someone who creates a will) dies, their debts don’t just pass with them. A creditor may still have a right to recover their debts through the testator’s estate when they die.

After a will is probated, the executor of the estate starts distributing the deceased person’s assets and property. If the deceased person had debts that were still owed to creditors, those creditors can petition the court to force the estate to pay the creditors what they’re owed before distributions are made to the beneficiaries of the estate.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Representatives and executors of estates, or trustees who oversee trusts, are in charge of managing and carrying out the duties assigned in the deceased person’s will or trust. This is a large responsibility and a role that requires honesty. The responsibility and ethical obligation of the administrators, executors, and trustees are known as their “fiduciary duty”.

If a beneficiary or other interested party to the estate has concerns about the actions of the executor or trustee, they can take legal action to remove them from managing the estate. If the breach included mismanagement or misappropriation of money or property, you may also be able to seek to recover money that may be owed to the estate.

Contesting a Will

As a person with interests in a deceased person’s estate, you can contest the validity of the will by filing a lawsuit. You have to be eligible to contest a will and need to have legal grounds on which to bring their lawsuit. You can contest a will on the following grounds:

  • Revocation – A testator can void a will by creating a new will or making changes to an existing will. This is known as a revocation. A beneficiary can contest the revocation of their interests in the testator’s estate.
  • Undue Influence – A will is supposed to represent the wishes and interests of the testator. If a testator is coerced into making certain decisions regarding their will and the distribution of their estate, then the will or a specific detail contained in the will could be determined to be invalid. A beneficiary or interested party who suspects that a testator was the victim of undue influence can contest the validity of the will by filing a lawsuit.
  • Fraud – Similar to undue influence, fraud can be an issue in the drafting or execution of a will if someone misrepresents information to the testator, and that information influences the decisions they make regarding their estate. If you believe this may have occurred, you can contest the will.
  • Testamentary Capacity – A testator has to be mentally fit when they write their will. If they are mentally incapacitated and can’t make informed decisions regarding their estate, they lack the required testamentary capacity to validate the will. This issue could be contested in court.
  • Illegitimate Execution – To create a valid will, the testator is required to write or print the will and sign it in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses also have to sign it. If any of these steps were not taken, then the validity of the will can be contested.

If you have a pressing question about an estate matter, reach out to us today.

Commonly Asked Questions

Estate planning isn’t something many people have experience with until they feel the time comes for them to consider what happens to their assets when they die. When estate issues arise, it’s common to have questions about what to do. When you hire an estate litigation attorney from Staubus and Randall, we’ll answer any question you have and keep the communication lines open, so you know exactly what’s happening with your case.

Below, we’ve answered a few common questions that our clients have had.

Do I have to go to court to resolve my legal matter?

mediation mesquite estate attorneyYou may not have to go to court to resolve your legal matter.

In Texas, you may be able to go to mediation (a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution) to figure out a solution to your legal issue. Mediation is a more informal proceeding than a court hearing. A mediator, an impartial third party, facilitates discussions between you and the other parties. They aren’t decision-makers, but they help all parties communicate productively to negotiate an agreement on the outstanding legal issue.

If your issue can’t be resolved in mediation, you will likely need to go to court. Your case may need to be litigated in a trial, after which a judge or jury will decide on your legal matter.

How much time do I have to contest an estate issue?

If you have an estate dispute, you can file a lawsuit contesting it. But there is a time limit. The time frame within which you can take legal action is dictated by the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for contesting a will is two years from the date the will is validated by the probate court (a will has to be probated within four years of the death of the testator).

Contact the Staubus and Randall Estate Litigation Lawyers

If you’re concerned about your rights to the estate of a deceased person, you need an experienced estate litigation lawyer to represent you in a legal action to resolve the issue.

The Mesquite, TX estate litigation lawyers from Staubus and Randall have decades of experience handling estate disputes with the care they require and the legal skills needed to achieve the best outcome for our clients.

To discuss how we may be able to help you resolve your estate dispute, contact our estate litigation lawyers at 214-691-3411 today. We have the experience you need.

The Firm

The attorneys at Staubus and Randall have over 100 years of combined experience in estate planning, probate, and litigation. We have the knowledge and skills to tackle complex legal issues, such as guardianships, will contests, fiduciary litigation, and trust litigation. We can also handle routine matters, such as estate administration, probating wills, heirship determinations, and other probate court matters.

Staubus and Randall received a preeminent AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible from a peer-rated legal service. This rating recognizes our hard work, dedication, and the case results we’re able to achieve.

Staubus & Randall Team

What Our Clients Say

"I recently had the occasion to hire Mr. Staubus for a hotly contested Guardianship matter. Mr. Staubus brought a rare combination of effectiveness, reasonableness and understanding of the human element involved. Mr. Staubus handled all things in a calm, highly competent, effective and reasonable way. It could not have been as easy as he made it seem. He's a credit to the Bar."

Jody

"Before retaining the guidance of the Staubus & Randall firm, I was at my wit's end trying to close an uncle's estate as a co-executor. In addition to dealing with difficult heirs, I had other pressing business issues coming up immediately on estate land in the middle of the Eagleford Shale including dealings with pipeline, seismic, oil & gas, and construction companies. The local bank also refused to give me access to information relating to the estate. This quickly became the most stressful and desperate time in my life...and then I found Joseph Legere who truly became my guardian angel. He was able to get all issues resolved efficiently and the estate fully closed. His professionalism, immense legal knowledge on a wide variety of topics, and amazing communication skills took the burdens off of me and quickly got closure. I am forever indebted to this firm for giving me my life back."

Martha

"Without exception, the legal service, professional attitude, prompt communication of your firm and your legal knowledge is second to none. I only wish I had an attorney here in Boston that could hold a candle to your experience and expertise. Working with you has been a pleasure, but even more, has made me believe that there are knowledgeable attorneys that do care about doing a good job. Thank you Keith! You may not truly understand how much of an impact you are having on peoples lives, but for me, you have helped change my life. As I begin making my dreams come true I can't help but remember none of this would be possible without you."

Joann

"Keith Staubus and Julie Blankenship and their team represented me in a jury trial in the probate court where the ownership of the business which I had worked hard to build was at stake. They successfully fought to preserve my business and my professional reputation, working masterfully to gain the support of the jury. I would not hesitate to hire them again in any bet-the-company litigation.”

Karen

"I have required legal representation twice in my life in two separate will contests. Both times I sought assistance from Keith Staubus and Staubus/Randall. Their service, approach, and determination to obtain results exceeded the other attorneys in each case. Mr. Staubus has always come across as genuine while being direct. He gets the process done in a timely manner with results. I will certainly use him again when and if any new challenges arise.”

David

"After my husband's death, I was devastated by having to defend against a vicious dispute over my husband's estate. Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus made me feel very comfortable in this distressing situation. They were very tough and did an excellent job for me in obtaining a summary judgment in my favor without a full jury trial. I was glad to have them and Diane Walker in my corner to help me achieve an excellent result - I won! If I ever had to go back to probate court, I would hire them again.” - (will and trust construction case)

Flo

"If you need intervention for someone you love but don't know where to turn or who to turn to, Julie Blankenship and Keith Staubus helped me through the most difficult and stressful time in my life with a much loved family member. I now believe that good will triumph over evil. They fought for what was right, and good prevailed." (contested guardianship and will contest)

Janet

"As a professional money manager, I have used Ryan Randall's estate planning services both personally and for my clients. Ryan has exhibited three critical attributes in his work with me: (1) high intellectual capacity, (2) exceptional thoroughness, and (3) a total commitment to integrity. In today's litigious world, it can be quite costly not to "get things done right.” An added bonus to us was that we found one of the nicest people we could imagine.”

John

"I was represented by Keith Staubus as an income beneficiary in a lawsuit with the trustee of a family trust. Utilizing the expertise of a forensic accountant and his own trust expertise, Keith was able to negotiate a judicial modification of the trust providing for the buyout of my income interest for a substantial lump sum payment out of the trust, resulting in a win-win situation for all of the parties. I highly recommend Staubus/Randall for any trust disputes and trust modification actions."

Kathy

"I have been a wealth management specialist and retirement plan consultant with the Dallas/Fort Worth financial community for over 20 years. I have engaged Ryan Randall to work with a number of my best clients over the years, including business owners, professionals and families. My clients always appreciate Ryan’s straightforward approach to estate planning, asset protection planning and business succession planning. He makes even the most sophisticated estate planning strategies understandable."

Larry

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