Probate & Estate Litigation

“Advocacy grounded in experience.”
Why McKinney & Tillman, P.C.?

Our unique experience counseling clients since 1992 on trust and estate issues gives us a better understanding of how estates and trusts should be managed. We know the right questions to ask, and we understand the unique aspects of this area of the law.

When an estate or trust is being mismanaged, or when you suspect that someone has been the victim of someone else’s wrongdoing, the Court provides certain remedies. We handle litigation matters related to:

Protecting beneficiaries

We regularly counsel clients on their rights as an heir, beneficiary, or surviving spouse. Tennessee law provides wide-ranging rights to request information, and special rights for surviving spouses that can be highly advantageous.

Breach of fiduciary duties

Trustees, Executors, and Attorneys-in-Fact (persons acting under a Power of Attorney) all owe certain fiduciary duties under Tennessee law. We advise clients who know or suspect that a fiduciary has breached his or her duties, and work to secure a resolution through negotiation and, if necessary, Court action. We also represent and defend Executors and Trustees who are wrongfully accused of mismanaging an estate or trust.

Elder financial abuse or exploitation

Elder financial exploitation is one of the fastest growing problems in East Tennessee, and often these issues end up in Court. Unfortunately, exploitation is often undiscovered until after a person’s death, and the family, Executor, or Trustee is forced to seek recovery on his or her behalf. At McKinney & Tillman, P.C., we counsel clients on their legal options for confronting elder financial abuse, including bringing cases under the Tennessee Adult Protection Act. 

Undue influence

Undue influence occurs when a third party wrongfully acts to pressure another to change their estate planning. If you suspect that someone has been the victim of undue influence, it is vital that you take appropriate action. It is often necessary to challenge a Will or other transfers obtained by undue influence in Court.

Claims against an Estate

As part of the probate process, potential creditors may file Claims against an Estate, seeking money judgments. While Claims are often justified, if a suspect Claim is filed, we assist clients in responding to and defending against that alleged debt. We also assist clients in asserting their own Claims against an estate.

Estate insolvency

When estates have more debts than assets, it is often necessary to institute insolvency proceedings before the Probate Court. We counsel clients on their options for dealing with an insolvent estate, including the priority of various creditors.