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Probate Litigation

What is Probate Litigation?

Probate can be an unfortunate part of the property and asset allocation process, and probate litigation can be even more disconcerting. Routine probate matters, like general implementation of a will, are usually handled efficiently and without contest. Occasionally, probate litigation will require the court to resolve a family dispute, often times involving some animosity among family members. Probate litigation processes can be lengthy and unpleasant, so it is necessary to hire an experienced attorney who can handle such matters gracefully and with skill.

The attorneys at Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb have ample experience handling matters of probate. We effectively represent you and strive to keep stress between family members to a minimum. Probate court litigation can occur for a number of reasons, but all of them stem from something that is contested within an estate plan. Usually, contested matters include one of the following situations:


  • A will that is challenged for its validity.
  • A will or trust that is contested because of unclear language and its effect.
  • A contest over guardianship, usually because the person may not be seen as needing a guardian, or a guardian was not previously appointed. In this case, it will be in regards to who will be appointed as the guardian.
  • A contest as to terms of a trust which need to be resolved or changed.
  • Termination of a trust because its terms have either been met or can no longer be fulfilled.
  • Beneficiary suits against executors, trustees, or guardians for a breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Complex family situations, such as second marriages, which may cause confusion within wills and trusts if not outlined clearly beforehand.

Planning Ahead to Avoid Probate Litigation

To avoid probate litigation, it is imperative to develop a clearly outlined and comprehensive estate plan. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to do. Matters of money and family need to be handled with care, and if your desires are not represented properly, it can quickly lead to family disputes. Crafting an effective estate plan takes a great deal of communication, skill, and strategic tools.

At Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb, we are experts in estate planning and avoiding probate, but in the event that contested matters do occur, we can handle those, too. We plan ahead for you so that your affairs are in order, and we have the tools available to fight contests on your behalf. Estate planning should be executed in a way which reflects your needs, while at the same time avoiding probate litigation in the future. We use a variety of strategies when planning your estate to circumvent probate litigation in addition to protecting your assets and reducing tax liability.

A Team Dedicated to Estate Planning and Probate

Based out of Phoenix, AZ, the attorneys at Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb provide legal services across several practices. We have exceptional experience and a passion for finding solutions to complex problems. We treat every client with a personalized approach, and we take the time to carefully listen to you. Our practice continually receives recognition for our services, including superb AVVO ratings and Martindale-Hubbell client recognition awards. We are committed to providing effective representation value to our clients.

Our attorneys have 30 years of experience in estate planning and avoiding probate litigation. We work as a collaborative team of specialists to build an effective strategy based on your individual needs. We know that your peace of mind and quality of life is paramount, so we work tirelessly to attain that for you. If you would like to hear more about experienced and effective estate planning, feel free to contact us today.


Dive Deeper into Probate Administration & Litigation

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Speaking with our case review specialist is free. We also offer formal paid consultation upon request.

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Phoenix Location

7319 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020 | 602-870-9700

Mesa Location

1630 S. Stapley Drive, Suite 212, Mesa, AZ 85204 | 480-985-4000