Trusts, Estates and Probate Litigation

Intensity and Experience

At Anthony Ostlund, our lawyers have a long and successful track record representing families and fiduciaries in disputes concerning trustee breaches of fiduciary duty, financial accounting, trustee removal, conservatorships, guardianships, will contests, inheritance, and testamentary intent. You can expect to receive the zealous advocacy and detailed service and care you deserve, as well as the sensitivity and empathy that is often needed most to bring closure to these multi-faceted and emotionally-charged disputes.

Trustees owe beneficiaries fiduciary duties of care and loyalty that can be breached where a trustee acts in his or her own self-interest, has conflicts of interest, or fails to act in the best interest of beneficiaries. Trustees can face financial or other legal claims by beneficiaries and can be subject to legal efforts by beneficiaries to remove them from their position as trustees if they fail to fulfill the legal duties imposed on them by law. Fiduciary principles applicable to trusts and trustees also come into play with wills and the personal representatives appointed to administer an estate following the death of the individual making the will.

Our experience resolving claims for breach of fiduciary duty and disputes concerning the value of businesses and other significant assets, makes us uniquely well-suited to represent clients in disputes involving trusts, wills, and estates, where these issues are paramount. Anthony Ostlund attorneys provide in-depth analyses of relevant fiduciary duties and responsibilities involved, as well as the complex governance, valuation, and planning concerns often at issue in disputes of this kind. Where appropriate, we work cooperatively with your accountant and your estate or business planning lawyer to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive strategy.

If you are considering or facing a dispute concerning a trust, will, or estate claim in Minnesota or across the United States, our aggressive advocates are here to help. We welcome contacts from prospective clients and referrals from other attorneys.

Our attorneys have represented clients in everything from massive multi-million dollar trust disputes to less complicated beneficiary designation claims, including:

  • Obtained complete dismissal of a $42 million claim for breach of fiduciary duty asserted against trustee client.

  • In under six months of time, successfully represented corporate trustee in obtaining a full discharge, release and resignation as trustee after highly contested allegations were made against trustee by a beneficiary. Anthony Ostlund obtained an award of the trustee’s fees and legal fees incurred in the matter.

  • In a matter resulting in a judgment in our client’s favor of over $45 million, Anthony Ostlund represented a beneficiary of multiple trusts in bringing shareholder claims as a beneficial owner of a large grocery store chain and obtained a court order removing her brother as trustee of our client’s trusts. The award in our client’s favor and removal of her brother as trustee was upheld on appeal.

  • Represented the controlling trustees of a large private company in litigation seeking $865 million by the founder's children after his unexpected death.

  • Successfully defended a $600 million federal estate tax case in United States Tax Court in Washington arising from probate of an owner's estate.

  • Secured a multi-million dollar recovery for the family of a deceased company owner while preserving over $15 million provided under his will despite surviving control group's attempt to enact disinheritance clauses in the plans to thwart challenges to unfairness.

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for bondholders involving breach of an indenture by asserting that consulting firm's failure to timely file its public documents triggered a default entitling our client to accelerated payments and liquidated damages in an amount exceeding $100 million; case ultimately settled for a confidential amount favorable our clients.

  • Successfully resolved case for local charitable organization against family members who challenged designation of charitable organization as beneficiary on decedent's IRA.

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of bank trustee dismissing $2 million breach of fiduciary duty claim by trust beneficiary.

  • Authored the “Fiduciary Duty Litigation” chapter of the ABA’s Commercial Litigation in the Federal Courts, 4th Edition, a treatise featuring distinguished judges and the best lawyers practicing in federal courts around the country.