“We know how painful it can be to deal with claims or contests to an estate, so let us make the process as simple as possible.”
Experienced Estate Litigation Lawyers Serving the Regions of Sugar Land and Houston, Texas
Estate litigation involves matters tied to property or debts left behind by someone who has passed away.
The estate litigation lawyers at Romano & Sumner in Sugar Land, TX handle a variety of estate litigation matters, such as:
- Removal of Executors and Administrators of an Estate
- Will Contests
- Joint Tenant with Right of Survivorship Account Disputes and Payable on Death Account Disputes
- Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Disputes and Retirement Account Beneficiary Designation Disputes
- Challenging the Ex-spouse as Beneficiary
Read below for a more thorough explanation of these services.
The trial attorneys at Romano & Sumner have experience in handling a variety of estate litigation matters.
Removing an Executor or Administrator of an Estate; Holding Executors and Administrators Accountable
If an executor or administrator of an estate acts improperly, he or she may be subject to removal by the court on its own motion, or on the complaint of any interested person.
Questions To Consider:
- Are you concerned that the administrator of the estate has misapplied or embezzled estate assets?
- Has the executor of the estate failed to file an inventory within 90 days of being appointed?
- Is the administrator of the estate guilty of gross misconduct or mismanagement in the performance of his or her duties?
The estate litigation attorneys at Romano & Sumner can assist you to remove an executor or remove an administrator of an estate for embezzling estate assets, force an executor or administrator to file an inventory of estate assets, or remove an executor or remove an administrator of an estate who is guilty of gross misconduct or mismanagement in the performance of his or her duties.
Joint Tenant with Right of Survivorship Account Disputes and Payable on Death Account Disputes
When someone dies, money that is held in a joint tenant with right of survivorship account or a payable on death account passes to the joint tenant or payable on death payee regardless of the terms of the decedent’s will. This outcome is often not one that was intended by the account holder.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- A father dies leaving a will that treats all children equally but also leaves a joint tenant with right of survivorship account containing a large sum of money that passes only to one child
- While mother is suffering from the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease she is taken to the bank by an unscrupulous son who has mother add him to her account as a payable on death beneficiary. When mother dies, son receives all of the funds in the account to the exclusion of his siblings.
- A son uses threats and intimidation to force his aging and frail father to add son to father’s bank account as a joint tenant with right of survivorship to circumvent the terms of father’s will.
Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Disputes & Retirement Account Beneficiary Designation Disputes
Much like the joint tenant with right of survivorship accounts (JTROS) and payable on death (POD) accounts described above, life insurance and retirement accounts pass to the designated beneficiary rather than according to the terms of the decedent’s last will and testament.
The contest scenarios we see for life insurance and retirement accounts are similar to the ones described in the JTROS and POD section above, with one exception. Beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement accounts can often be changed online or through the mail without even having to sign a document or see anyone in person.
Do the following circumstances sound similar to yours?
- Son has a beneficiary designation form for father’s life insurance sent to father in the mail. When the form arrives, son intercepts it, forges father’s name, and returns the form to the life insurance company. When father dies his other children are surprised to find out that the bulk of father’s estate has passed outside of his will to son.
- Daughter, who knows mother’s retirement account website password, goes online and changes the beneficiary of the account to herself without mother’s knowledge. When mother passes, daughter is the beneficiary of the retirement account to the exclusion of her siblings.
The law firm of Romano & Sumner has experience in challenging life insurance and retirement account beneficiary designations that have been created under fraudulent circumstances. Our team of attorneys will aggressively fight to ensure that you receive the benefits that your loved one intended for you to have.
Challenging Ex-Spouse as Beneficiary
Divorce is a common occurrence in our society. All too often, recently divorced individuals fail to change their estate planning documents to reflect their new status.
Scenarios we commonly see are:
- Husband divorces, remarries, and then passes away. Second wife then discovers that ex-wife is still named as the beneficiary of deceased husband’s will.
- Mom divorces dad and is able to keep her large retirement account. Mom fully intended to change the beneficiary on her retirement account to child after divorce but just never got around to it.
- Wife divorces, remarries, and then passes away leaving a large life insurance policy that still names ex-husband as beneficiary.
Fortunately, there are laws that protect against these scenarios. However, those laws can only help you if you properly assert your rights. The lawyers at Romano & Sumner are familiar with the legal process to remove an ex-spouse as a beneficiary of a will, life insurance policy or retirement account and can assist you to assert your rights in such situations. If you are looking for aggressive, knowledgeable trial attorneys to assert your rights in an estate litigation matter, contact the Houston area law office of Romano & Sumner today.
Romano & Sumner, LLC is proud to serve these Texas areas
Cities / Suburbs:
The Woodlands | Sugar Land | Baytown | Conroe | Katy | Friendswood | Pearland | League City | Richmond | Rosenberg | Spring | Humble | Kingwood | Clear Lake City | Stafford | Jersey Village | Cypress | Missouri City
77478 | 77479 | 77487 | 77496 | 77498 | 77459 | 77489
Harris County, Fort Bend County, and surrounding counties