Draneas & Huglin, P.C. -- Client-Friendly, Experienced, Practical -- Estate Planning & Taxation Attorneys

 

LITIGATION

The litigation attorneys at Draneas & Huglin, P.C. specialize in the following areas of litigation:

ELDER & VULNERABLE PERSON ABUSE LITIGATION

The litigation attorneys at Draneas & Huglin, P.C. have extensive litigation experience representing the victims of elder abuse or neglect as well as defending against false claims of elder abuse. Elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, social status or ethnic background. Elder abuse takes many forms inlcuding financial, emotional, sexual, verbal, or neglect and frequently occurs at the hands of the people who are most trusted by the victims – their spouses, children, grandchildren, caregivers or financial or other advisors. Our attorneys advise clients about the steps they can take to halt further abuse and to remedy abuse that has happened already. Sometimes allegations of abuse are unfounded and our attorneys also represent individuals or facilities who need legal assistance in defending themselves against such allegations.

TAX ADVOCACY & LITIGATION

Our tax attorneys are skilled in all aspects of resolving tax controversies. We can help you with tax audits, tax appeals,state and federal tax litigation;tax collection and offers in compromise.

BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Our litigation attorneys possess the business and tax background to represent you in a wide range of business disputes. Although we believe it is preferable to resolve business disputes without resort to litigation, this is not always possible. When litigation is necessary, our attorneys will represent you before a mediator or arbitrator or in the courtroom. We help clients resolve external disputes over contracts, leases, and other business activities as well as internal disputes arising between partners, LLC members or shareholders.

ESTATE & TRUST LITIGATION

Our litigation attorneys represent clients to initiate or defend against will or trust contests, declaratory judgment actions, removal actions, and other litigation that arises in the administration of trusts and estates.

Will & Trust Contests. After a person dies, the fiduciaries (either the personal representative of an estate or successor trustee of a trust), may be faced with an objection by an heir or beneficiary who questions the validity of the will or trust or who does not feel the documents accurately reflect the intentions of the deceased person. For example, the person may assert that the deceased person did not have the required mental capacity to sign the will or trust or that the document was the product of undue influence. Depending on whether our client is the fiduciary or the heir or beneficiary, our litigation attorneys will initiate or defend will or trust contests.

Determining Ownership of Assets. Increasingly, assets pass after death through beneficiary or pay on death designations (e.g., retirement accounts, bank accounts, investment accounts) or joint ownership interests (e.g., real property held joint with right of survivorship). Just as a person may contest a trust or will, a person may also challenge these designations. In such cases, a declaratory judgment proceeding may be brought to determine ownership of the asset. Our litigation attorneys can assist you to initiate or defend  against a declaratory judgment action.

Removal of Personal Representative or Trustee for Breach of Fiduciary Duty & Surcharge for Damages. When a person acts as a personal representative or trustee, they hold the assets of the estate or trust as fiduciaries for the benefit of one o r more other persons. This means that, by statute, they must carry out their duties in good faith and in an ethical and honest manner. A fiduciary breaches this obligation when he or she self-deals, misappropriates assets, or acts in a manner that is not in the best interest of the trust or the beneficiaries. In other cases, the fiduciary may simply not be competent to manage the affairs of the estate or trust (e.g., does not follow proper accounting procedures, fails to file required documents or tax returns in a timely manner, or makes imprudent investments. In any of these circumstances, an action may be brought to remove the fiduciary. The litigation attorneys at Draneas & Huglin, P.C. can help you initiate or defend against a removal action.

GUARDIANSHIP & CONSERVATORSHIP LITIGATION

When a person's health and well-being is threatened because the person is unable to care for himself or herself, the court may appoint a guardian to make decisions about medical, housing and daily living issues. Similarly, the court may appoint a conservator to manage a person's financial affairs if the person is grossly mishandling because he or she lacks capacity. Our litigation attorneys help clients to determine if a guardianship or conservatorship is appropriate and, if appropriate, to initiate a protective proceeding. Our attorneys also help clients to explore alternative means of assisting the person if a protective proceeding is not appropriate.

Our litigation attorneys also represent persons who are objecting to imposition of a guardian or conservator, including the proposed protected person, family members or other persons who have an interest in the proceeding.

FAMILY LAW LITIGATION

Our family law attorney, Susan Lain, represents clients who are experiencing the difficult experience of divorce or legal separation. Susan works with clients to resolve custody and parenting time disputes, establishment and modification of child support and spousal support, family law appeals, prenuptial agreements, enforcement of existing agreements, restraining orders and step parent adoptions.

PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION

Our personal injury litigator, Robert Perkins represents clients who have been injured as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, or other entity. Typically, these injuries are the result of automobile and other traffic-related accidents, premises injuries (slip and fall, fire, or unreasonable hazard in public areas), work injuries, defective products, medical malpractice, dog attacks and more. If you've been injured in a traffic accident or on another person's property, it is important that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible and before contacting the insurer. Robert brings 25 years of experience to help you obtain fair treatment by insurance companies who may be reluctant to pay the full amount of your claim.