NH’S LEADING PROBATE / ESTATE /
TRUST LITIGATION PRACTICE
We have perhaps the most active probate / estate litigation practice in New Hampshire and also regularly appear in the Massachusetts courts. We have substantial experience and expertise handling all types of probate and estate litigation, including:
- Will and trust contests – wills and trusts can be challenged on a variety of grounds, including most commonly that they were signed without testamentary capacity and/or under undue influence
- Guardianships and conservatorships – when a loved one due to dementia or other impairment is no longer able to manage his or her affairs, the Probate Court upon a proper showing may appoint a fiduciary to step in
- Fiduciary duty claims – trustees, executors, guardians, and other fiduciaries are subject to the highest duties in law, namely duties of utmost care and loyalty, and may be held accountable for breaches of their duties
- Statutory accounting claims against NH power of attorney agents – agents under powers of attorney in NH are subject to statutory accounting and other claims
- Fiduciary accounting and removal actions – trustees, executors, guardians, and other fiduciaries are subject to claims to account and potentially for removal
- Trust interpretation, modification, and termination claims – trusts are not always clear and sometimes no longer serve their intended purposes and may be subject to proceedings to clarify their meaning, declare rights of the interested parties, and/or to modify or terminate them
- Common law marriage claims – a life partner of a decedent in appropriate circumstances may claim to have been the common law spouse in order to recover inheritance rights as the surviving spouse
- Elder exploitation issues and constructive trust claims – property transfers, the re-titling of investment and bank accounts, IRA and life insurance beneficiary designations, and other transactions can be challenged if they were undertaken without capacity and/or were procured by undue influence
- Partition actions – when family members own real estate in common and cannot agree to the terms for its use, the sharing of maintenance, taxes, and other expenses, or other issues, the courts have the authority to compel a sale and to allocate the proceeds among the owners
These cases often involve difficult legal issues, sometimes with important tax implications, as well challenging family dynamics and tensions. Our experience helps us provide knowledgeable and thoughtful guidance and representation. We have handled many cases in which the validity of wills, trusts, gifts, deeds, and other transactions have been challenged on grounds of incapacity due to dementia and the exertion of undue influence by a relative, caregiver, or a friend. We are sensitive to family dynamics and the unique pressures faced by families in probate and estate litigation.
We are proud to say that many lawyers from other firms have had the confidence and trust in us to refer their clients to us for representation. We always enjoy working with fellow counsel and are always happy to confer on the phone with other lawyers about probate and estate law.
We maintain this site as a resource for fellow counsel and the public. It includes:
- Commentary on court decisions and other probate / estate law developments of note
- Copies of Probate Court orders and other decisions we believe are important for practitioners to know
- Summaries of relevant law
- A pleadings bank of 65+ sample pleadings
Counsel, please send us your court orders and pleadings of potential interest to the bar. We will link any posting to your website and give you full credit. Please tell us how we can improve this site to better serve you, other lawyers, and the public.
For additional information on our Probate Litigation team, click here.