Estate, Trust and Probate Law

With Mr. Peterson’s background as a litigator and trial attorney, he has handled a number of trust and estate related litigation matters. These cases have included litigating conflicts of interest, elder abuse, fraudulent documents, diminished capacity and other issues that are frequently encountered in estate and trust practice. Greg Peterson’s background as a civil litigation attorney is an advantage in Probate Court, where discovery and trials are less common and complex. One thing they share though is the use of mediation as a tool to resolve contested matters and that is also an area where Mr. Peterson has an advantage, having mediated hundreds of cases and served as both a private mediator and Judge Pro Tem in the Sacramento Superior Court. If a case is capable of being resolved without a trial, Greg Peterson has the knowledge and tools to accomplish resolution, but he is also happy to try your case if a fair result cannot be achieved through settlement.

In terms of our current practice we have recently defended cases involving questions concerning a donor’s capacity and a trustee’s handling of the disposition of trust property, and have prosecuted actions involving an attorney’s conflict of interest (failure to disclose personal interest in a donor gift), failure to provide in a will for an adopted child and a disputed, fraudulent will, all with successful outcomes. We are also handling the trust administration as the trustee for a large, multi-million dollar trust. However, nothing compares to the recent guardianship we handled in which we helped a grandmother become the legal guardian of her three grandchildren.

We are presently accepting clients with matters in the following areas:

  • Non-Probate transfers and summary administration (jointly owned property, life estates, life insurance, retirement benefits)
  • Probate litigation (including succession to property and spousal petitions)
  • Estate litigation (including intestacy, disputed wills, capacity contests, inheritance rights, sales of real property)
  • Trust litigation (capacity contests, petitions, trustee contests and breach of fiduciary duty, accountings, surcharging and removal, trust modification and revocation)
  • Attorney professional responsibility and conflicts of interest in estate planning, trust and probate law
  • Powers of attorney
  • Protective proceedings, conservatorships and guardianships
  • Substituted judgment petitions

I am currently completing the course necessary to obtain an LLM in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. This is an outstanding program and the only post-graduate degree of this kind offered in the United States, taught by sitting judges and highly experienced professionals, and it is designed to prepare students for the State Bar exam for certification as an Estate Planning and Probate Law Specialist.