Board Certified Specialized for Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law in California

Trust & Estate Litigation

For over 25 years, the Law Offices of Douglas P. Barnes has represented parties in trust and estate litigation matters in Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, and Alameda counties, and throughout California. 

Trust and estate litigation is a specialty area distinguished from other types of litigation because it is governed by a combination of probate and civil law.  Efficient and effective representation demands knowledge and expertise in the applicable laws and procedural rules related to probate, wills and trusts, and civil litigation.  Our team has the knowledge, expertise and advocacy skill necessary to effectively navigate the complexities of trust and estate litigation and to provide a successful resolution to your specific matter.

We represent trustees, executors, administrators, conservators, beneficiaries and other parties in all manner of trust and estate disputes, including but not limited to:

  • Disputes concerning property rights
  • Creditors' claims
  • Trust or estate accounting issues
  • Allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty
  • Intra-family conflicts
  • Challenges to the validity or construction of a will, trust or other estate planning document
  • Allegations of fraud, coercion, undue influence or elder abuse

Exploring Settlement Opportunities Through Mediation

Trust & estate litigation presents complicated legal, factual, and emotional issues.  It is expensive and disruptive, but also offers significant openings to explore settlement opportunities through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation.  As a trained mediator, Doug Barnes recommends mediation as an expeditious and cost-effective alternative to litigation. 

Experienced Representation When Litigation is the Best or Only Option

Some disputes simply cannot be resolved in mediation.  Unfortunately, trust and estate disputes, especially intra-family disputes, tend to be very emotional and contentious, and the grief suffered over the recent loss of a loved one often leads to anger and conflict, which in turn leads to a lawsuit.  Cases can quickly deadlock within the early stages, increasing the level of distrust and animosity among the parties.  These cases require particular sensitivity to the true nature of the dispute, because often these disputes are as much about family relationships as they are disputes over property.

In the event that litigation is required, our attorneys are experienced litigators with an established track record of achieving successful results on behalf of our clients.  We have a reputation for favorably resolving difficult and challenging cases.  For a complimentary consultation regarding your trust and estate litigation matter, contact the Law Offices of Douglas P. Barnes.


Douglas P. Barnes A Professional Corporation is located in Los Gatos, CA and serves clients in and around Los Gatos, Aptos, Soquel, Morgan Hill, Los Altos, Scotts Valley, Sunnyvale, Watsonville, Capitola, Freedom, Felton, Mount Hermon, San Martin, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, Santa Cruz, Boulder Creek, Mount Hamilton, Aromas, Gilroy, Moss Landing, Davenport, Milpitas, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County.

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