Over the past decade, disputes over inheritances have become more frequent. Such disputes are commonly referred to as fiduciary litigation, in that they relate to conduct taken by those who act on behalf of an estate (a personal representative), or the trustee of a trust. These matters also frequently involve guardianships or acts taken under a power of attorney document.
Led by partner Ned Parent, Silverman Thompson's Fiduciary Litigation Practice is foremost in Maryland at handling these disputes. Beyond Mr. Parent's experience, Silverman Thompson's roster includes attorneys who served as law clerks for judges who frequently presided over such disputes, a current Orphans' Court judge, and a former Court of Appeals judge. This unique blend of experience offers our clients innovative strategic approaches and solutions to the legal, factual, and emotional complexities of these matters. As a result, many estates and trusts attorneys, such as, for example, Sims & Campbell PC, regularly consult Silverman Thompson to assist when disputes arise involving their clients or contacts.
Examples of these disputes include:
- Will contests, known as caveat proceedings
- Petitions to remove a personal representative of an estate
- Filing and arguing exceptions to an estate's accounting
- Petitions for a will construction or interpretation
- Challenges to a person's legal capacity to execute a will or similar documents
- Disputes among beneficiaries to an estate or trust
- Petitions seeking judicial assumption of jurisdiction over a trust
- Disputes arising under an agent's conduct under a power of attorney document
- Contested guardianship proceedings
Many beneficiaries also find themselves in disputes over the proceeds of life insurance policies. If not resolved, insurance companies may initiate a proceeding called an interpleader, to ask the courts to rule between the potential beneficiaries. Silverman Thompson is experienced such proceedings, and our skilled attorneys have made significant recoveries for our clients.