Trust and Estates
Who we represent: People and entities engaged in disputes over assets usually after someone dies. Our clients include trustees, administrators of estates, conservators, attorneys-in-fact and private fiduciaries. We also represent beneficiaries, heirs, omitted heirs (including omitted spouses), conservatees, principals, and concerned family members (legally described as “interested parties”).
What kind of issues do we handle: Disputes over who is the rightful owner of assets; disputes regarding the interpretation of documents; disputes about control over persons and/or property; disputes regarding fiduciary duties (including the management and control of assets); and disputes regarding accountings.
What kind of claims do we prosecute and defend: Undue influence, lack of capacity, financial elder abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, interference with right to inherit, fraud, duress, menace, threat, conversion (theft of personal property), quiet title (determination of real property rights), demands for accountings, determination of heirship (entitlement), breach of contract, breach of promise, and detrimental reliance.
What is our role: We are advocates; we are trial lawyers; and we work for you.
How do we work: We are effective and aggressive. We understand our client’s goals, and make those goals our goals. We develop a strategy and employ tactics to achieve the goals. We work hard and smart by executing the strategy and evaluating our position relative to our goals. Ultimately, we consistently and repeatedly achieve our clients goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sometimes that means our dispute resolves in mediation; sometimes that means our dispute ends in trial. However, the fight will end when our clients goals are met.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation is a process whereby the disputing parties themselves, generally with the aid of their counsel and a neutral called “a mediator” agree to resolve their legal fight on terms they specifically agree upon. Mediations generally last a full day (or more) and occur once the parties and attorneys have sufficient information to clearly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own and each other’s positions. We have successfully handled hundreds of mediations as advocates.
In addition, Daniel I. Spector is a trained and certified mediator, and has successfully facilitated to final resolution more than one hundred legal disputes. Dan is an effective and popular mediator among his peers because he possesses extensive experience with the law and facts of trust and estate disputes, and is able to effectively communicate with counsel and parties to help them understand the perspectives, risks, strengths and positions of all parties involved in the disputes. With Dan’s assistance, once the parties and counsel possess this enhanced understanding, Dan is able to facilitate a final resolution that is more attractive to the parties than the stresses, expense and risks of continuing the litigation.