Here’s what a few recent clients have said:
Trust Termination Case
I was a beneficiary of a trust set up by my grandmother that also named several charitable contingent remainder beneficiaries. My father acted as trustee but upon his death, a corporate trustee was named as successor and I learned that I was co-trustee. Initially I thought this arrangement would be okay since corporate trustees are fiduciaries. I assumed that as co-trustee, the corporate trustee and I would be making decisions together. However, that was not the case, and after months of dealing with the egregious actions of that corporate trustee, I lost all faith in their ability to serve. They eventually officially declined to serve as trustee of my grandmother’s trust. I sought counsel from Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. due to the dilemma of having no acting trustee and the need to name a new one, along with some other pressing issues related to unpaid trust taxes. Robert Aitkens explained my options, including his personal advice, which was to seek court approval to simply terminate the trust. He explained that this would save trust administration fees as well as the hassle of dealing with a trustee and allow me to collect the balance in the trust, after negotiating with the charities. I agreed with this approach, so the Aitkens proceeded and were successful in amicably and reasonably resolving the charities’ interests in the trust. Robert and Terri did a fantastic job negotiating with the charities and filing the Petition to Terminate the Trust, fully answering to the Court’s satisfaction, and gaining a Final Order Terminating the Trust. Now my wife and I do not have to answer to a corporate trustee nor waste trust funds paying fees in administration. I so appreciate their good counsel and am a very happy client!
William, from Tennessee
Trust Litigation Case
My mother-in-law set up a sizable trust and named my husband and me as beneficiaries for our lives. Her trust stipulated that if there were any funds left in it after our deaths, the money would go to numerous contingent remainder beneficiaries. The trust also gave my father-in-law, her husband, a limited power of appointment. My mother-in-law was careful to make sure, by way of her trust, that I would be provided for, having sacrificed my education and career to be a caregiver for my husband, her only child. After her death and unbeknownst to me or my husband, my father-in-law used the limited power of appointment to exclude me as a beneficiary of my mom-in-law’s trust. Upon his death, we found out what he had done. I was devastated, as was my husband. I had a good relationship with my father-in-law as far as either of us knew, so neither my husband nor I could understand how or why he would cut me out of my mother-in-law’s trust. We were perplexed that I, as an original first tier beneficiary, could be cut out of her trust altogether, especially since we understood trusts to be irrevocable after the death of the Grantor (the person who originally set up the trust). We discussed this with several attorneys, because on a layman’s reading alone, it did not seem that a limited power of appointment should have allowed my father-in-law to completely cut me out as a beneficiary of a trust that wasn’t his. No other attorney told us that my father-in-law’s actions were illegal. We were quite discouraged until we consulted Terri and Robert Aitkens at Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. Terri was a breath of fresh air and an answer to prayer. She immediately said that she did not believe my father-in-law had the power to exclude me from my mother-in-law’s trust. After doing the research, Terri was convinced that his actions were contrary to law and equity. A Declaratory Judgment action was prepared and filed by the Aitkens’ on our behalf seeking Court direction to void the powers of appointment and restore the trust to its original language, as intended by my mother-in-law. This required hours of time and tenacity, tracking down all the contingent remainder beneficiaries from a trust created many years ago, and consulting with their attorneys or officers to educate them about the relief we were seeking. Terri Aitkens was successful in answering their questions, and none of them objected to the relief we sought in Court. Terri has the ideal communication style. She is a professional who can and will be assertive when necessary — and she is a good listener who truly puts her heart into what she does to help her clients. The Court listened to our arguments and reviewed the law, granted our Declaratory Judgment, voided the powers of appointment exercised by my father-in-law, and ordered the Trustee to administer the trust in accordance with its original language. This allowed me to once again be a primary beneficiary of my mother-in-law’s trust. Words cannot express the relief this brought to my husband and me, knowing that I will have funds available for my support if he predeceases me. We are exceedingly grateful for Terri and Robert Aitkens and their astute knowledge of trust law.
Will Dispute Case
My family and I had the most unfortunate and sad experience with my Aunt and her family attempting to steal everyone’s inheritance. Aitkens & Aitkens law firm showed astute knowledge of the law and thanks to their poised and impeccable efforts our family was able to receive what was willed to them. Wonderful job, Terri!!
Matt from California
Estate Litigation Case
Terri Aitkens at Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. assisted me with a lawsuit involving my father’s estate in Georgia. I was so impressed at the immediate attention I received and how aggressively the firm worked to defend by case. Because of their knowledge and experience in dealing with the estate matters and rights of beneficiaries, my case was resolved within days of their involvement. I truly appreciate this firm. Terri not only restored my faith in attorneys but my faith in people. I definitely recommend them for any estate related litigation.
Julie Bridger, Orlando, Fl.
Trust Litigation Case
I hired Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. to help me as a beneficiary against a Georgia Trustee after I worked with my local attorney for months who could not get anywhere with the Georgia Trustee. I was impressed with the advocacy of the lawyers that represented me. Terri and Robert Aitkens achieved a quick and fair resolution for me. They were easy to communicate with and sensitive to my concerns. I was extremely pleased with the outcome and would highly recommend the lawyers at Aitkens & Aitkens for any trust related litigation or representation.
Lynn from California
Self-Dealing/Breach of Trust Case
I found out that I was the beneficiary of a trust and an estate of my distant relative, who died decades ago with great wealth and wanted to take care of many of his less fortunate cousins and their descendants. Once I discovered that I was a beneficiary and believed that the fiduciaries had self-dealt in the property via a sham transaction, I contacted a few lawyers in Atlanta who did not think my case had merit, or perhaps, did not want to deal with the complex nature of the case since it spanned over decades of time. When I met with Robert Aitkens in Atlanta, I was impressed that he understood my rights as a beneficiary and could analyze the many complicated aspects of my claims. He and Terri agreed to take my case. Due to their insight and resolve, and their resourceful use of experts and specialized and associated legal counsel, we were able to litigate the case against deep pocket defendants and achieve a very successful result for all concerned. I found the Aitkens to be easy to communicate with and extremely knowledgeable in the practice of estate and trust litigation.
D.W. from Florida
Abuse of Power of Attorney Case
I wanted to sue a sibling because she used a Power of Attorney to name herself beneficiary on all retirement/savings accounts of my mother when my mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. My mother always desired that her estate be split equally among her children. When I discovered that the bulk of her estate passed outside of the Will (and directly to my sister) due to use of a power of attorney designation, I hired Aitkens Law Firm to pursue my claims. Robert and Terri are well versed in handling abuse of powers of attorney and breach of fiduciary duties. They have expertise in dealing with geriatric doctors and neurologists who treat patients with dementia. They know how to discover needed information and pursue claims against fiduciaries who have unduly influenced the elderly. They aggressively pursued my claims for breach of fiduciary duty against the power of attorney holder, and we were able to resolve the claims prior to trial of the case.
Tim from Jacksonville, FL
Wrongful Death Case
My mother suffered a catastrophic injury when a tractor trailer truck illegally backed across a roadway causing the collision. She suffered severe damages and was hospitalized for over three months before she died at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. I lived in Missouri at the time and searched on line for an attorney who handled wrongful death and estate litigation in Georgia. I hired Aitkens Law Firm to pursue claims for wrongful death and pain and suffering, and to assist me in the administration of my mother’s estate. Robert and Terri were complete professionals and walked me through every phase of the litigation and estate administration. They were always available to discuss my needs and very caring and sensitive to the pain my sisters and I endured re-living the ordeal. We were successful in settling the case prior to trial and were extremely pleased with the outcome we achieved. Not only were they helpful during the case, but I feel like I have made a life-long friend.
Chrissy from Granite City, Illinois
Breach of Trust Case
My Grandfather executed a Trust for me and my sister in 2006 and funded it with an annuity. The Trust proceeds were to be paid to me when I turned 21 years of age. However, he died in 2008 and the successor Trustee lived outside of Ga. When I turned 21, I contacted the Trustee to inquire about my Trust funds. The Trustee told me the funds were to be used only for education and if I wasn’t attending school full time, I was not entitled to receive the funds. The Trustee then offered to settle my claims for a nominal sum if I would release her, knowing I was young and in need of money. Although I requested a copy of the Trust, the Trustee would not provide one to me. I called Aitkens Law Firm and they were very receptive to my needs and agreed to take my case to obtain and review the Trust and to represent me against the Trustee. Within one week, I had a copy of my Trust, a copy of the annuity that funded the Trust, and I had discovered that the Trust was not earmarked for education. Terri Aitkens prepared and sent a demand letter to the Trustee informing her that if the matter was not resolved, we would file suit and seek damages for fraud, misrepresentation, and egregious breach of fiduciary duties. We obtained a settlement of my case within a week of the demand. I was compensated by the Trustee for all of the proceeds due me, plus interest and attorneys fees. I was very impressed with the aggressive handling of my case and the prompt resolution of it.
Mick from Georgia
Business Litigation Case
My husband died tragically and after his death, his partners tried to take advantage of the situation and not pay amounts due his estate pursuant to a Buy/Sell agreement. I hired Aitkens Law Firm to pursue the claims associated with the business venture, as well as handle all aspects of administering my husband’s estate. I was impressed with how aggressive, but professional, they were during the litigation process. They were extremely sensitive and protective of my feelings during the intense litigation. We were able to gain a resolution of all claims prior to a trial on the issues. I was also impressed with their ability to communicate with me and explain to me in layman’s terms the intricacies involved in both the litigation and the estate administration. This was a very difficult time in my life, and I appreciate their genuine concern for my situation and their steadfast diligence in resolving all of my legal needs.
Jane from Toronto
Will Contest and Undue Influence Case
My father was elderly and suffering from dementia when he signed a new Will and Trust leaving most of his assets in trust. All of my inheritance was subject to the control of one of my siblings who did not like me and would stop at nothing to deprive me of any distributions from my father’s estate. I knew that this was not the desire of my father, when in his right mind. A caveat of the Will was required and the Trust contained conflicting provisions. So, I hired Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. to assist me in getting my fair share of my father’s estate, free of control from my sibling. This case involved a pour-over Will and a problematic Trust, a complicated estate and financial empire, and obstacles to my accessing relevant financial information. My representation involved a review and understanding of sophisticated financial documentation on many corporate levels. I was extremely happy with the result that Terri and Robert Aitkens were able to achieve for me. I believe, had it not been for their persistence and tenacity, I would never have received the large settlement that I received.
Len, from Georgia