Practice Areas

Wills & Trusts

A Will is simply a legal document in which you state how you want your assets to be distributed after you die.  Surprisingly, most people do not have one.  Even if you have very modest assets, it's important to have a Will.  If someone dies intestate, or without a Will, the Court will decide how to distribute your assets based on state law.  These laws apply to everyone and do not take into account your individual needs or circumstances.  

A living Trust is a separate legal document that lets you control the distribution of your assets without going through the probate process.  In essence, the creator of the trust, or the Grantor, transfers his or her assets to the trust.  The Trustee holds these assets for the beneficiaries.  The Grantor, Trustee, and Beneficiary are often the same person, and usually, many provisions of the trust do not take effect until the death of one or more Grantors.  


In addition to avoiding probate, a properly drafted trust can reduce estate taxes, provide for a surviving spouse, provide for persons with disabilities, and provide peace of mind for people who are concerned about how children or grandchildren may spend money given to them.



Probate & Trust Litigation

Probate is a legal process that usually involves filing a deceased person's Will with the Court, inventorying property, paying debts, and distributing assets according to the terms of the Will.  Sometimes, the process goes smoothly.  Other times, probate can be costly, frustrating, and time-consuming.  

A Will or Trust can be contested in Court.  There may be a question as to whether the Will or Trust was validly executed, if it reflected the true intentions of the decedent, or whether the decedent had the mental capacity to legally create a Will or Trust.  

Trustees and Personal Representatives are required to comply with certain provisions of state law, and we have found that some people who accept these roles are unaware of all of the things they are obligated to do.  Failure to comply with the laws governing Trustees and Personal Representatives can have serious consequences.  

The attorneys at CBCG Law have represented clients in will contests, beneficiaries of trusts, and trustees who have been accused of wrongdoing.  Probate and trust litigation can be very complex and full of pitfalls.  Clients should consider choosing attorneys who have experience navigating these turbulent waters.  

Business and Contract Law

The attorneys at CBCG Law have experience representing and advising clients about business matters from formation to dissolution and everything in between.  We have litigated contract disputes, drafted contracts and agreements to protect our clients, and represented partners, LLC members, and shareholders in any number of disputes both internal and external to their respective companies.  

It is always advisable to see an attorney before entering into any contract or starting any business venture.  It is also important to seek legal advice promptly in the event of any dispute or threat of litigation.  Sometimes, attorneys can resolve issues before they get out of hand simply be being dispassionate advisors and outlining the possible consequences of proceeding down a certain path.  

National Firearms Act (Gun) Trusts

A NFA Trust, or Gun Trust, is simply an alternate way of owning firearms.  In general, they are similar to revocable living trusts, but they are drafted specifically for the purpose of holding title to firearms, usually those that are regulated by Title II of the National Firearms Act of 1968.  These are sometimes referred to as Class III weapons, which include items such as silencers, machine guns, short-barreled rifles, destructive devices, and other weapons that are required to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives ("BATFE").


Chuck Bruen is a NRA Certified Pistol, Rifle, and Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor, as well as a certified Range Safety Officer.  He is a former competitive shooter, and still enjoys taking classes to improve his skills.  He is well aware of the needs of Arizona firearms owners, and is dedicated to helping them protect themselves in a constantly changing legal and political environment.  

Some Representative Probate & Trust Litigation Cases:

Trust & Probate LitigationWoman updated her Trust and then died, leaving everything to her friend and various charities. A relative contested the Will and Trust, arguing lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and elder abuse.  We successfully defended the allegations against the friend and settled this matter after having the trial court overturned on appeal.  Estate of Kominek:  1-CA-CV-09-0508 (Memorandum Decision)
 
Trust & Probate Litigation:  Woman executes an Amendment to her Trust shortly before she dies, leaving her home to one of her seven children, who is also her Trustee.  Four other siblings attempt to have the Amendment invalidated and accuse the Trustee of breaching his fiduciary duties.  We successfully defended the allegations against the Trustee, and after having the trial court overturned on appeal, were able to have the Amendment upheld and eventually the disputed funds and the disputed home were awarded to our client.  Estate of Scozzari1-CA-CV-10-0572 (Memorandum Decision)
 
Trust Litigation:  The beneficiaries of a Trust believed that the Trustee (their Aunt) was acting inappropriately and misusing trust funds for her own benefit.  We
successfully had the Trustee removed and a new Trustee appointed. 
 
 
Trust LitigationA father loaned his son a substantial amount of money and secured it with a promissory note.  The son denied the validity of the note. 
The father died and his Successor Trustee continued the litigation on behalf of the Trust.  This matter was settled in our client’s favor by agreement of the parties after mediation.
 
Trust LitigationTrustee living in Arizona administering a California Trust was sued for breach of fiduciary duties.  We successfully defended the claims against the Trustee and the matter was settled by agreement of the parties.