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Estates, Trust and Fiduciary Litigation

Estates, Trust, and Fiduciary Litigation

Navigate the intricate realm of estate and trust disputes with confidence. Our seasoned litigators bring sophisticated expertise to the table, providing effective legal solutions tailored to safeguard your interests and achieve successful resolutions.

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Estates, Trust and Fiduciary Litigation

Navigating Estate and Trust Litigation

Estate and trust litigation is often family litigation, with complex financial, personal, and emotional implications that linger long after judgment or settlement. 

Our estate, trust and fiduciary litigation practice pairs talented and resourceful advocates that are trained and experienced in estate, trust, and fiduciary litigation with Wisconsin’s premier estate planners to maximize outcomes for the growing number of families and fiduciaries who find themselves in disputes over wealth planning, preservation, and distribution.

Never adopting a one size fits all approach, our attorneys listen and prudently assess client goals to carefully fashion an appropriate and efficient strategy.

Litigation should typically be a last resort, and our attorneys advise and negotiate with creativity and sensitivity to try to achieve client goals while avoiding the stress and expense of legal proceedings. However, litigation is sometimes necessary or unavoidable. In those circumstances, a stronger response may be warranted, particularly when family members take rash, improper, and even illegal action with respect to family property. To meet those challenges, our attorneys have the ability, experience, and know-how to respond quickly and aggressively, and may even be able to prevent improper and illegal action in the first place.

Trust companies and other professional fiduciaries are also no strangers to litigation. Our attorneys are well-versed in helping personal representatives and trustees to recognize and comply with their fiduciary duties, to seek court instruction when necessary, and defend their actions after the fact.

We represent fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and grantors in a wide range of estate and trust disputes:

  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Fiduciary surcharge, removal, and resignation
  • Undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, and will contests
  • Will and trust construction and modification
  • Prudent investment and diversification issues
  • Gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax disputes
  • Probate asset identification and recovery
  • Charitable pledges and bequests

Our Trust Company Industry Group

Trust companies and bank trust departments are highly specialized financial institutions and deserve counsel that understands their unique legal needs.

Trust Company Industry Group

Our Unique Approach

We gather legal professionals from across disciplines to coordinate and collaborate in order to deliver custom solutions to the issues facing trust companies and departments in Wisconsin and around the United States. When working with us, you get the benefit of legal expertise from a variety of our legal disciplines, from banking and investment management to employee benefits and cybersecurity.

We understand that trust and wealth management operations often involve the referral of trust, investment advisory, brokerage, and other wealth management products and services among affiliates. Our group includes attorneys and professionals who specialize in dealing with related regulatory and compliance issues. This includes the firm's experienced trust administrators who regularly assist clients with trust accounting matters, tax matters, and substantive fiduciary issues.

Unmatched Experience To Best Serve You

Our trust company industry group has extensive experience in representing state and national trust companies and banks in a variety of matters including:

  • Trust company formation and situs planning
  • Sales and acquisitions
  • Corporate governance
  • Trust operations
  • Fiduciary litigation 
  • Regulatory compliance

Godfrey & Kahn serves as the primary outside legal counsel for dedicated trust companies and banks with substantial trust operations. The firm represents financial institutions of all types and sizes, from large publicly-traded financial holding companies to community banks. For financial institutions with distinct trust divisions, our attorneys regularly advise on a variety of legal, regulatory, and compliance.

We bring together our deep knowledge and years of experience, all in one place.

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We’re Honored to be Honored

We are honored by awards that reflect our vision for our work. Work-product awards like Best Law Firms and top tier rankings by Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation help us attract and keep quality talent who are often recognized as Best Lawyers. Our people help us attract clients and build a team-oriented culture that's led to Top Workplace awards year after year.

Best Lawyers Best Law Firm 2023 Award Logo from US News & World Report

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