Trust and Estate Litigation


Krieg DeVault has played a major role in shaping the financial institutions landscape in Indiana over the last several decades.  The Firm’s Trust and Estate Litigation Practice is an integral aspect of our long tradition of partnering with banks all over the State to advocate for their interests on a broad range of legal issues impacting their business.

The Krieg DeVault Difference

We bring a true team approach to any trust or estate litigation matter, drawing strategically from our experienced estate planners who have an in-depth understanding of sophisticated estate and tax planning strategies and our seasoned litigators who have the depth and resources to handle even the most complex of cases.  Our bench strength also includes Certified Public Accountants, tax attorneys, and corporate and real estate lawyers equipped to address the diverse challenges that can arise in complicated trust agreements and estate plans.  This effective combination of skill sets, coupled with our collective knowledge of the substantive law and procedural nuances of trust and estate administration, enable us to pursue optimal outcomes for our clients and make Krieg DeVault a go-to litigation firm for corporate fiduciaries of all sizes, from community banks to large national financial institutions.  

The Work We Do

We represent corporate fiduciaries (i.e., administrators and trustees) in a wide variety of disputes involving the administration of trusts and estates, including:

  • Will and trust contests
  • Lack of mental capacity
  • Fraud, duress, and undue influence
  • Creditor claims
  • Charitable gifts
  • Abuse of powers of attorney
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Prudent investor rule
  • Removal of fiduciaries
  • Trust modifications, including modifications to add or clarify investment language in trust agreement to allow concentration of holdings or to allow directed investment by the beneficiaries
  • Unitrust conversions to convert an income trust to a unitrust under the Indiana Unitrust Statute, including both contested and uncontested conversions
  • Valuation and sale of assets
  • Beneficiary disputes
  • Beneficiary distributions
  • Sufficiency of and entitlement to accountings
  • Federal and state tax disputes (Federal income, estate, and gift tax and generation skipping tax).

We have appeared on behalf of corporate fiduciaries in probate and trial courts throughout Indiana and brought those litigation matters to conclusion, either through motion practice, trial, appeal, or alternative dispute resolution.  We understand that trust and estate litigation often brings to bear deeply personal and highly sensitive conflicts between family members.  We strive to be the steady hand that guides our corporate fiduciary clients through that often emotionally-driven process. 

Krieg DeVault Trust and Estate Litigation Professionals

Libby Yin Goodknight


Rodney S. Retzner


Joshua D. Hague


Mark J.R. Merkle


J. Brian Hittinger


Timothy F. Christiana
Of Counsel


William J. Barkimer
Senior Associate


Ann Marie Woolwine


Blake P. Holler


Christopher Engel


Micah J. Nichols