Established Experienced Knowledgeable

Assisting Clients Through Contentious Inheritance Disputes

Inheritance disputes include not only will contests, trust contests, estate probate litigation and trust litigation, but a broad range of issues relating to asset transfers made and changes to beneficiary designations executed by a person with diminished capacity.

These transfers and beneficiary designation changes may affect assets that are not part of a probate estate or trust. For instance, a majority of the assets owned by the elderly may consist of retirement accounts such as a 401(k) or an IRA or other financial accounts. An elderly person may own a life insurance policy. For each of these assets, the elderly person may have executed a beneficiary designation naming a family member or other loved one to receive the asset upon death. A person may take the elderly to a financial institution to have that person “added” to the financial account or participate in the transfers or changes to the beneficiary designations. The transfer of these assets, changes to the beneficiary designations and changes to the title of financial accounts can significantly alter the intended estate plan of the elderly, as well as significantly impact the financial well-being of the elderly during their lifetime.

The best way to address this cognitive decline and help prevent elderly financial abuse is with an estate plan that contemplates the possibility of diminished capacity and incorporates preventative measures to protect the elderly from financial exploitation.

The legal grounds to challenge these transfers and changes to the financial accounts are the same as for a will or trust contest. The proceedings to contest these transfers and changes are filed in a civil proceeding and may include a tort claim for the tortious interference with an inheritance. If the asset was owned solely by the elderly person prior to the transfer, the personal representative of the probate estate may have the sole authority to file the lawsuit.

The issues involving such inheritance disputes are complicated. The attorney representing your interests must not only possess the knowledge and experience relating to estate planning matters but also be a skilled litigation attorney.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Right To Your Inheritance

At Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison, our board-certified specialist in wills, trusts and estates, who has also been selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers in trust and estate litigation every year since 2015, can help assist you to address these lifetime transfers of assets and changes to financial accounts which may alter the “estate plan” of the elderly person. We have decades of experience to assist you in resolving these disputes or fully litigating such disputes in court, if necessary.

For inheritance disputes or advice on how to handle the exploitation of the elderly, call Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison at 941-366-3282 or contact us online to make an appointment and discuss your issues. Our office is conveniently located at the corner of Main Street and Orange Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.