Complex and High-Stakes Probate Litigation

A contested will or trust in dispute is an emotionally charged case. Emotions range from bitter grief to disbelief to vindictive vengeance. Often, the more property that is at stake, the stronger the emotions.

A skilled trial lawyer can help a client deal with not only the emotional complexities but also the factual complexities that can be wrapped around probate disputes involving millions of dollars in assets.

The key probate litigation attorney at Magleby Cataxinos & Greenwood, is attorney Peggy Tomsic. She has extensive experience representing clients in mediation, arbitration, litigation, and grand jury proceedings, and is an AV* rated attorney. Attorney Tomsic represents people who seek to honor the deceased's wishes, desires and viewpoints, while trying to protect the beneficiaries' interests.

Representative case: Dummar v. Lummis IIAttorney Peggy Tomsic represented a former officer and director of Howard Hughes' companies in District Court and the United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, against charges from plaintiff Dummar who sought $156 million, with interest dating back to 1978, treble damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorney fees as a portion of the Howard Hughes estate. The 10th Circuit affirmed the District Court's dismissal of the case.

High-Stakes Probate Litigation

It is not uncommon for the beneficiaries of a significant estate, to dispute a will or trust; holographic will or otherwise. Perhaps one sibling wants the entire estate and uses undue influence over an aged parent to have the entire estate go to that sibling and leave the others with very little or nothing.

This is an area of law that is as much art and negotiation as it is probate rules and rules of law. Attorney Tomsic is a master of detail, and is able to manage expectations in an emotionally charged situation to stay focused on representing the clients' interests without engaging in retaliation. She has experience with the following types of scenarios:

  • Estates in excess of $10 million
  • Competency determinations
  • Undue influence
  • Business valuations and business succession disputes
  • Stepchildren or unrelated beneficiaries

Complex Estate and Probate

On occasion, a family business or businesses are comingled with an estate plan. When this happens, the estate or probate dispute may spill over into more traditional commercial litigation. The firm is well positioned to deal with complex estate matters involving business disputes and breaches of contract. When it is necessary to change an entire estate plan, Magleby Cataxinos & Greenwood can handle that situation as well. The firm can look at the circumstances, determine a way to undo any damage that may have been done by the other side, and then try to reconstruct the estate plan to what it should have been.

Powerful Advocacy for Breach of Contract Litigation

The Salt Lake City probate litigation attorneys at Magleby Cataxinos & Greenwood, represent clients in civil and commercial litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts. To discuss a legal issue related to intellectual property, business tort, fraud or any complex civil litigation matter, please either call 801-359-9000 locally or 866-928-7962 toll free, or contact an attorney via e-mail.

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. AV is the highest rating.

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories -- legal ability and general ethical standards.