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Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


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Our Practices

Estate & Fiduciary Litigation

Is mom competent to sign the house over to one child? Is dad competent to sign a trust document that excludes a different child? Is mom's judgment colored by her daughter who lives next door to her? Is your sister who is in charge of your mother's finances not sharing information with you? Is your brother handling the probate of your father's estate correctly? Whose looking over your sister's shoulder while she is serving as power of attorney for your parents? Where are the checks and balances for your brother who is serving as trustee of your parents' trust?

As more and more of us allow someone else to do things on our behalf, serious legal questions often arise. Ruder Ware's estate and fiduciary litigation team combines the talents of our Litigation & Dispute Resolution attorneys and Trusts & Estates attorneys to provide our clients with the best possible advice, counsel and advocacy as to these challenging legal and emotional issues.

We regularly represent trustees and beneficiaries of trusts when questions exist and disputes arise. We also represent parties in will contests and probate litigation matters. We frequently counsel agents acting pursuant to power of attorneys to help prevent them from being sued and defend them when they are sued. We also handle contested guardianship matters.

Our recent experience in the area of estate and fiduciary litigation includes:

  • Successful representation of a creditor whose rights were significantly impaired by the conduct of an agent acting under a durable power of attorney;
  • Successful representation of an agent acting under a durable power of attorney in the dismissal of a guardianship petition;
  • Successful representation to obtain guardianship and protective placement when resisted by the ward;
  • Successful representation of an elderly adult who opposed guardianship proceedings initiated by children;
  • Successful reformation of an irrevocable trust to appoint a new trustee selected by trust beneficiaries;
  • Successful removal of a guardian on behalf of a ward in a guardianship proceeding;
  • Successful petition to have trust assets returned to the original owner; and
  • Successful removal of a trustee on behalf of a trust beneficiary.

Examples of estate and fiduciary litigation matters handled by Ruder Ware attorneys include:

  • Will contests
  • Lack of testamentary capacity to make a will
  • Lack of capacity to execute a trust
  • Undue influence
  • Mistake
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Trust reformation and amendment
  • Interpretation and construction proceedings
  • Noncompliance with formalities
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Financial abuse and exploitation of the elderly
  • Financial abuse and exploitation of disabled individuals and minors
  • Capacity to gift, convey real estate, and to contract
  • Capacity to execute power of attorney documents

Founded in 1920, as part of a full-service law firm, our attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware provides business, tax, employment, municipal, estate planning, real estate, litigation, and trust services through its offices in Wausau and Eau Claire. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.