Family Disputes & Trusts: Practical Strategies to Preserve Family Wealth



  • Available Until 2/17/2026
  • Next Class Time 12:00 PM CT
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download
  • Program Code 02162024
  • MCLE Credits 1 hour(s)

Course Price: $89.00


Family feuds are the most destructive force in trust and estate planning. When a senior generation of a family dies or decides to pull back from leading a family business, long suppressed inter-personal conflicts rise to the surface and have often a substantially adverse impact on the business’s operations and value. These disputes often place planners in the extremely difficult spot of having gain the trust of warring factions, understand their grievances, and use the tools of planning to help them and the company find a value-preserving resolution of their conflicts. This program will provide you with a guide to identifying and resolving family feuds in trusts.


  • Sources of family feuds in trusts and techniques to resolve short of litigation
  • Disputes involving distributions, control of family assets, personal rivalries, lack of communication
  • Techniques for resolution – outside consultants, ongoing family meetings, lifetime gifting, distribution standards
  • How choosing trustees can provoke or alleviate family disputes
  • How to work with warring family factions while protecting yourself as lawyer



Michael Kenny is counsel in the New York City office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP, where his practice focuses on commercial, probate, construction, and maritime litigation.  He has represented clients in domestic and international arbitrations, including proceedings before the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. His litigation and arbitration experience includes the preparation and trial of warranty claims and ship repair disputes.

Sean Vallencourt is a Litigation Associate in Wiggin and Dana’s New York office.  He represents businesses and individuals in a diverse array of disputes before federal and state courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution tribunals. Prior to joining Wiggin and Dana, Sean served as a law clerk to two federal district judges: Judge Neil V. Wake (District of Arizona) and Chief Judge Sara Darrow (Central District of Illinois). Prior to clerking, he practiced at Phillips Nizer LLP.