In life, not everything goes according to plan. If you are attempting to administer the estate of a loved one, you may encounter issues or obstacles that require litigation. During this incredibly difficult time, I strive to take some of the weight off your shoulders and help you advocate for your best interests.

If you believe that a loved one has altered their estate plan due to undue influence or at a time when they lacked capacity, turn to my firm, Van Sciver Law, for representation. I serve the needs of families and individuals in Bakersfield, California, as well as the surrounding areas of Visalia, Tehachapi, and Ridgecrest.

Common Causes of Estate & Trust Litigation

Estate or trust litigation typically occurs when a dispute arises in the process of administering the estate of a family member. Common disputes involve issues such as:

  • Claims of undue influence on the decedent’s estate plan

  • Concerns of diminished capacity on the part of the decedent at the time of signing complex legal documents

  • Unclear terms in estate planning documents

  • Breach of fiduciary duty by executors or trustees

Most estate disputes are centered around a decedent's will or trust. If you believe that undue influence, diminished capacity, or other damaging circumstances were involved when your loved one created these legal documents, let me help you pursue a resolution.

Contesting a Will or Trust

The process of filing a lawsuit that objects to the validity of a will or trust is referred to as a will or trust contest. If your contest is successful, the will or trust at hand will be considered invalid and will be thrown out by the court. Moving forward, you will administer your loved one’s estate as you would have had the invalid will or trust never been created.



Do You Have Legal Standing to File a Contest?

Only certain parties have legal standing to file a will or trust contest, including:

  • Disinherited or disadvantaged heirs: Family members or loved ones who would have inherited more had a trust or will not been created

  • Disinherited or disadvantaged beneficiaries: Family, friends, or charities that had been named or given more benefits in a previous version of a trust or will

If you believe that you fall under one of these two categories, you have legal standing to contest a will or trust. Talk to me today to determine whether or not you have grounds for a case in the state of California.

I’m Prepared to Fight for You

While it may be preferable to keep your estate litigation issue out of the courtroom, I am prepared to do what it takes to ensure your best interests are protected. After losing a loved one, you deserve the chance to ensure that the legal decisions being made are fair and in accordance with your loved one’s true wishes.

While proceedings of this nature have the potential to become hostile, I am calm under pressure, methodical in my process, and level-headed in the face of adversity. You can trust that I will keep my cool and represent you with professionalism from start to finish.

Let’s Get Started

Get the collaborative, communicative guidance you need to navigate your estate or trust litigation matter. Schedule a consultation with my firm, Van Sciver Law, in Bakersfield, California. I proudly assist the needs of families and individuals in the surrounding areas, including Visalia, Tehachapi, and Ridgecrest.


After the loss of a loved one, you should be able to focus on healing and moving forward. When a legal dispute pulls your attention away from what matters most, I’ll be here to lead you through the litigation process. Together, we can strive to secure a fair resolution as you contest a will or trust.