Skip to content

Probate, Trusts, and Estates Litigation

Thompson & Knight probate, trusts, and estate planning attorneys advise clients when disputes arise concerning trusts, wills, gifts, and estates, proceeding with the sensitivity or force necessary to achieve our clients’ goals. We assist in prosecuting and defending will contests, will and trust construction, termination of trusts, resignation or removal of trustees, and litigation arising out of the administration of estates and trusts, and also handle all forms of alternative dispute resolution proceedings for probate and tax-related matters.

Overview

The issues are sensitive – protecting assets that have taken a lifetime to accumulate, managing property that has been in the family for generations, and making long range provisions for beneficiaries. Thompson & Knight probate, trusts, and estate planning attorneys advise clients when disputes arise concerning trusts, wills, gifts, and estates, proceeding with the sensitivity or force necessary to achieve our clients’ goals. We assist in prosecuting and defending will contests, will and trust construction, termination of trusts, resignation or removal of trustees, and litigation arising out of the administration of estates and trusts, and also handle all forms of alternative dispute resolution proceedings for probate and tax-related matters.

Our attorneys represent individual trust beneficiaries as well as corporate fiduciaries in their respective roles as guardians, trustees, administrators, or executors of trusts and estates. Because probate, trusts, and estates litigation is interdisciplinary, clients directly benefit as a result of our experience in businesses transactions, real estate, securities, employee benefits, corporate, and tax, among other areas.

Regional tier-one ranking in DFW for Trusts and Estates Law in “Best Law Firms” 2019 by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®

Experience

  • Represented a widow in a will contest that raised questions of fiduciary liability by some of the parties involved, achieving a very favorable settlement of the case
  • Represented a client in setting aside a deceased spouse’s will for lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence; estate included a multi-million-dollar south Texas ranch, livestock, mineral interests, and other real estate in a multi county area; we were able to settle the case in our client’s favor and have the defective will withdrawn from probate, and our client was thus awarded 100% of ranch properties and the majority of mineral interests, livestock, and real estate in other counties, as well as the right to establish a charitable foundation to receive the balance of estate property
  • Defended a medical school in a suit brought by trustees of a sizable trust seeking a declaratory judgment in the probate court, obtaining a very favorable settlement for our client
  • Reduced the amount of assessed estate tax, penalty, and interest by $5 million in a client’s dispute with the Internal Revenue Service and the state of Texas
  • Obtained a multi-million-dollar settlement in a wrongful death action brought against a major transportation company, subsequently structuring a trust to protect the estates
  • Defended ERISA plan trustees against allegations by the Department of Labor that plan investments were prohibited transactions, violated diversity requirements, and were improperly managed
  • Obtained a defense judgment for a corporate trustee charged with breach of fiduciary duty