Trust, Estate, Probate and Inheritance Fights and Lawsuits

Poor estate planning and troubled relationships can lead to lawsuits over wills and trusts, inheritance fights, and probate and trust administration claims against personal representatives and trustees.

We help you get through the toughest times of your life.

Estate, probate, wills, trust and inheritance lawsuits and controversy

Do you have a quick legal question?

Call John McKindles at 480-964-9302 for a no-charge, five-minute phone call.


Adventures in Probate: Hand-Written Wills and Dying Intestate  This story underscores the importance of structuring estate plans, properly funding and monitoring them, and seeking guidance as circumstances change

Your Estate Plan: Prepared or Unprepared  Everyone has an estate plan. The only question is: Is it prepared or unprepared? A prepared plan may entail some present cost. An unprepared plan will doubtless involve more cost (and probably heartache) later.

Understanding your rights, responsibilities and options is an important step in bringing order and justice to a contested estate. To schedule a comprehensive one-hour, $300 legal consultation with John McKindles, call his legal assistant, Willie Benefiel, at 480-964-9302.


The last decade has seen the transfers of enormous wealth from one generation to the next, giving rise in Arizona and elsewhere to an unprecedented number of disputes over inherited assets and related issues.

Many Arizona families have sought the wise counsel of John McKindles in sorting out messy estates en route to ensuring that:

  • the intentions of deceased persons are honored through the probate or trust administration processes, and

  • incapacitated persons receive appropriate protection through guardianships and conservatorships.

John McKindles represents persons who are involved in a variety of estate controversies, including disputes involving:

  • Wills

  • Trusts

  • Inheritance

  • Probate

  • Trust administration

  • Guardianships

  • Conservatorships

  • Breaches of fiduciary duty by a trustee, personal representative, guardian or conservator

John’s clients benefit from his ability to bring to estate matters his valuable experience in real estate law, taxation, financial issues, family law and business law.

At the Root of Trust and Probate Controversy

Disputes stemming from alleged lack of competency, undue influence, disinheritance or other issues can often lead to a legal challenge to the decedent’s will or trust, or a challenge to the decedent’s selection of a trustee or personal representative (known in some other states as “executor”).

Poor Planning. Such disputes are often fueled by bad planning on the part of the decedents – planning that in many cases occurred many years before, perhaps in another state, and frequently involving a different family situation – or by unintended outcomes stemming from generally sound planning.

Undue Influence and Contested Wills. When elderly people fall victim to manipulative health care providers, neighbors, or relatives, they may be convinced to change the terms of their will. Often, changes are made without other family members being notified and through a different attorney than the one originally used.

Defending Against a Contested Will. There are also cases when creditors or unscrupulous family members attempt to take advantage of vague or imprecise language in a will. In these situations, allegations may be leveled against the named personal representative regarding how assets are distributed among heirs.

Legal Help for Fiduciaries

John McKindles is prepared to represent professionals and family members in their fiduciary roles as guardians, conservators, trustees and personal representatives, against charges of fraud, theft, embezzlement and more.

The appointment to a fiduciary role comes with important responsibilities and duties. In an estate situation, a trustee or personal representative is responsible for the maintenance or distribution of a trust or estate or the financial affairs of another person.

Administering an estate or trust can be challenging if the fiduciary is not fully aware of their duties. However, even the best prepared fiduciaries can find themselves as the target of family members or other interested parties who are unhappy with the fiduciary’s actions in managing estate or trust assets, responding to creditor claims and other legal challenges, and following the decedent’s wishes in distributing assets.