Wills, Trusts & Related Litigation

Miles T. Goldrick, Lawyer counsels Santa Barbara residents in the area of estate planning and related litigation.  Miles offers clients a personal approach to the estate planning process along with over 35 years of experience in the preparation, administration and litigation of wills and trusts. 

Estate planning is the process of arranging for the efficient and cost-effective transfer of one's property, while taking into account family dynamics, the nature and amount of one's assets, and any applicable transfer taxes.  Creating a successful estate plan requires an individual assessment of your unique circumstances.  Miles will take the time to understand your needs in order to tailor a plan that achieves your specific goals.  In addition, Miles is also a notary public, which is convenient when executing trusts and other estate planning documents.


A will is a written document that leaves an individual's estate to named persons or entities.  A will names an executor and provides him or her with the authority and obligation to manage and distribute the estate.  The will may also nominate guardians for any minor children of the person making the will (the "testator").  Depending on the nature and size of the testator's estate, and how the testator's assets were titled at the time of the testator's death, probate of the will may be required.  Probate involves administration and distribution of the estate by the executor under court supervision.


A trust is an entity created to hold assets for the benefit of certain persons or entities, with a trustee managing the trust.  A trust may take the place of a will and avoid probate by providing for the distribution of those assets that have been titled in the name of the trust.  One may construct numerous types of trusts depending on the desired purpose, including revocable, irrevocable, and charitable trusts.

Related Litigation

If a dispute arises during the planning or administration of an estate, Miles has the experience and sensitivity to effectively represent his clients' interests, even when family members are embroiled in a dispute.  Litigation may arise in many different circumstances, and wills and trusts may be challenged on a number of grounds, including:

  • Lack of legal capacity
  • Undue influence
  • Improper execution of the document
  • Lack of testamentary intent
  • Fraud

If you are unhappy with the provisions of a trust, Miles can help you seek appropriate changes in court through a trust contest.  Under the California Probate Code, if unforeseen circumstances arise and "the continuation of the trust under its terms would defeat or substantially limit the accomplishment or purpose of the trust," a court may modify its administrative or dispositive provisions.

Seek Experienced, Personal Representation

Whether you are seeking to create a will or trust for the first time, have an existing estate plan in need of revision, or if you have lost a loved one who left an estate, contact Miles T. Goldrick, Lawyer for comprehensive legal representation.

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