Specialized Litigation

Trust and Estate Administration Litigation

We handle trust and estate administration litigation including actions to remove fiduciaries, for accountings and to preserve beneficiaries rights. We also handle actions to assert or defend an expected inheritance. Furthermore, we engage in litigation to protect and preserve homestead rights wrongfully removed.

For example, we have represented numerous beneficiaries of a trust to remedy improper actions which took place. We seek to hold the wrongdoers accountable for their inequitable actions and force repayment of assets back into the trust, when applicable.

We represent spouses, adult children and others who may be wrongfully accused of interfering with the estate plan of a spouse or parent or have a claim against someone who wrongfully interfered with an estate plan. We can defend a claim of this nature if there was no fraud involved and/or the decedent had capacity. Likewise, we institute proceedings against wrongdoers where fraud, undue influence or incapacity may have been present.

We also represent beneficiaries of a trust who are not receiving the full accounting and information regarding the distribution of trust assets. Florida law mandates accountings and disclosure of trust transactions. A beneficiary has a limited time to object to possible improper handling of trust assets so time may be of the essence.

There may be instances where two people are serving as co-trustees or co-personal representatives of a trust or under a will. If one of the persons is behaving improperly by refusing to cooperate and/or unilaterally making decisions without the other person, we advocate on behalf of that other person to protect and preserve their rights and responsibilities as a fiduciary.

When a beneficiary under someone's will is not receiving their inheritance, there may be actions taken by the personal representative that are improper and/or causing delay. We represent the interests of those beneficiaries in an estate administration action.

Guardianship Litigation

In some cases, guardianship matters are adversarial due to family conflicts. Elder Law Associates PA has handled many contested guardian proceedings. We guide our clients through very difficult and often emotional proceedings.

Guardianship litigation is unique in that traditional litigation preparation must be combined with knowledge of statutory guardianship regulations and procedures. We zealously represent our clients while keeping the best interests of the alleged incapacitated person or ward always in mind.

Guardianship litigation may be brought on behalf of an alleged incapacitated person who is disputing the need for a guardianship. In other circumstances, a family member or interested party may object to the appointment of a particular individual as a guardian, or even the need for the guardianship where alternative estate planning documents sufficiently provide for the incapacitated person's needs. Similar litigation may also arise out of a guardian's mishandling or abuse of the ward or the ward's property.

Potential clients should be aware that without proper representation in a guardianship court, an individual may lose the opportunity to be properly heard, or very quickly become overwhelmed and/or disadvantaged due to the expeditious handling of these matters in the court system. In contrast to many other types of litigation, time is of the essence in these matters.

Homestead Litigation

Homestead litigation typically occurs under one of two circumstances. One is where a property owner's homestead rights are improperly removed by the Property Appraiser's office. The other circumstance is when someone moves to Florida from another state and their homestead application is wrongfully denied because the Property Appraiser's office fails to recognize the finality of the move. Elder Law Associates PA assists its clients in establishing homestead status.

Ms. Morris has represented numerous individual and professional clients involved in the following types of cases:

  • Breach of Duty, Removal and Surcharge of Personal Representatives and Trustees
  • Will Contests due to Undue Influence and Lack of Testamentary Capacity
  • Appointment of Emergency Temporary, Limited and Plenary Guardians of Person and Property
  • Probate Administration of Testate (with a Will) and Intestate (Without a Will) Estates
  • Fiduciary and Attorney Compensation Disputes
  • Trust Reformation and Termination
  • Tortious Interference with Expectancy of Inheritance
  • Breach of Power of Attorney
  • Probate and Trust Accounting Disputes
  • Elective Share and Surviving Spouse Rights
  • Exploitation of Elderly or Vulnerable Adult
  • Determination of Incapacity Proceedings
  • Summary Administration
  • Creditor Claims
  • Administration of simple and complex Florida trusts
  • Inheritance Disputes

We provide Trust and Estate Litigation services to the following cities/municipalities and the surrounding communities in South Florida.

Please contact us to determine if your situation warrants engaging us to handle one of these types of litigated matters.