We Understand Estate Planning and Estate Litigation - the Unique Combination You Need When a Will or Trust Comes Under Dispute
SMITH | STRONG, PLC, led by attorney Van Smith, routinely assists clients in the following Estate & Fiduciary Litigation matters:
- Will and Trust Interpretation
- Breach of Fiduciary Duties—For and Against Fiduciaries
- Prudent Investor Rule, and Its Application on Asset Management
- Disputed Claims Related to Estates & Trusts
- Lack of Mental Capacity
- Fraud, Duress, and Undue Influence on Testators (those signing Wills and Trusts improperly, or defending against those allegations)
- Spousal Rights and Payments of Proceeds from Trust
- Determination of Beneficiaries
- Recovery of Assets
- Regularly Handle Hotly Disputed Trust and Estate Matters for Individuals and Families
- Securing the Removal or Reinstatement of Trustees Removed for Purported Misconduct
- Recoveries from Trustees Engaged in Self-Dealing and Conflicts of Interest, or Defense of Agents Wrongly-Accused
- Guardianship & Conservatorship Matters
Trusted Virginia Family Law, Estate Planning, & Estate Litigation Attorneys Providing Exceptional, Personal Service in Richmond and Central Virginia
You deserve a personal, boutique family law, estate planning, and estate litigation firm for life’s greatest transition points: separation/divorce; estate planning/retirement; and estate litigation. And your family, your financial security, and possibly your children’s futures, at this moment, frankly requires a personal approach.
Family law, estate planning, and estate litigation are simply different and more deeply personal, than other areas of legal practice. It requires an outstanding knowledge of Virginia’s laws and the court system, as well as the emotional intelligence and discretion to handle delicate family subjects.
- Disciplined: We begin working on your case from day one and update you on the progress of your legal matter each week. We answer our phones, calling you back the same day; all emails are responded to within 24 hours or less.
- Team Approach: We are the only law firm we know that meets as an entire firm, 3 days each week, to review each client matter to ensure success.
- Integrity: We will make a concerted effort to keep you, your family, and your finances out of the courtroom - if we can achieve a fair and reasonable outcome out of court through discreet settlement
- Honest: More important than the flat fee or billable hourly rate is the honesty of the attorney and team. Our 5-star client reviews, the highest number in the region, speak to our results and fees.
- Award-Winning: For the last seven years, and counting, our attorneys have received numerous awards, including Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars and Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite designation.
- Technology: One client, who is a local business executive, remarked, “Smith Strong is an Apple product in a very ‘PC’ legal market.” We pride ourselves on being cloud-based, wireless, and tech-driven since our founding - and it shows.
- Giving Back: Smith Strong is proud to volunteer and financially support many local non-profits, community organizations, and churches including Project Hope: providing free medical care to leprosy patients in Ethiopia; the Parson’s Cause Foundation, Inc: A Hanover, Virginia based history programming group; CrossOver Healthcare Ministry: provides 6,500 Richmond area residents with free healthcare; and Historic Richmond Foundation: focused on preservation of historic architecture and history in central Virginia.
Quickly get back to fully living your life. At Smith Strong, PLC, our attorneys and legal team will surround you, develop a plan of action for your estate or fiduciary litigation case, and get to work quickly to resolve your legal matter.
Schedule your SMART START comprehensive case preparation meeting, more than a consultation, it’s the first step in our system for handling your matter. To get started, call 804.325.1245 or 757.645.6371.
You have come to the right place. Welcome. Smith Strong attorneys meet with clients each day on estate/fiduciary litigation matters. We appear each week in the circuit and juvenile & domestic relations courts of counties in a 1.5 hour radius around Richmond, Virginia, including: Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Caroline, Goochland, Powhatan, Amelia, New Kent, Louisa, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Essex, King William, King & Queen, Williamsburg, James City County, York County, and Richmond, among others.
These are a few situations and emotions our estate and fiduciary litigation clients commonly deal with. Do any of them sound familiar?
- “This is not what my parents would have wanted, the only way this estate planning document was signed was by someone who didn’t understand what they were signing. They were preyed upon out of greed in a feeble state of mind.”
- “I cared for my surviving parent in their final years, we grew close. The other siblings were never around, and my parent resented it as he neared death. So, they changed their estate plan to favor me. It was their decision, now, I’m being sued for undue influence to claw back the inheritance.”
- “It wasn’t until our parent passed away that I understood what happened. My sibling, as financial power of attorney, inappropriately helped themselves to our parent’s life savings. What can be done?”
- “My parent was ‘with it’ all the way to the end. They gave me gifts over the years from their accounts out of love and appreciation for my help. I never asked for a dime.”
FIDUCIARY MISCONDUCT CLAIMS
- “I looked into our parent’s financial statements, and there must be $140,000, easy, missing from their account. At first, I thought they may have been scammed, then I realized, my sibling as financial power of attorney wrongfully took it for their own personal use. Someone needs to step in, this isn’t right.”
- “I’ve been helping our parent for years with caregiving, going to the medical appointments, writing the checks. And from time to time, sure, they gave me gifts and payments out of appreciation and love. They didn’t have to do it and I didn’t ask them to do it, but I’m grateful for the money. Caregiving really took its toll on my ability to maintain a job or have consistent earnings.”
WILL & TRUST DISPUTES
- “So, my surviving parent passes away, and I’m expecting, as it was always talked about and written up, for our inheritance to pass in equal shares. Then, come to find out, my sibling took them to a lawyer in the final year of their life and they changed their estate plan, cutting all of us out, but the one sibling, of course. There’s no way my parent would have knowingly done that. What can be done?”
- “In the final year or two, my parent’s eyes were finally opened, I was the only one who truly cared for them and really sacrificed when they needed it most. So, my parent asked to go to a lawyer, was clear as a bell on their intent, and with capacity, changed their estate plan. Now, my siblings are mad and coming after me—but it wasn’t my fault. Can you help me?