Morgan Wiener

Morgan Wiener

Director

Email: mwiener@williamsweese.com
Phone: (303) 861-2828 ext. 2524

Trust and Estate Litigation
Estate Planning and Administration
Commercial Litigation
Private Client

Morgan advises clients on a variety of matters involving probate and fiduciary litigation, including trust and estate disputes, claims against fiduciaries, and protective proceedings.  She also assists clients with the administration of estates, trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships, as well as with uncontested probate proceedings.  Morgan’s clients include individual and corporate fiduciaries, beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors.

Morgan regularly appears in court and advises her clients on all aspects of the litigation process – from initial filings to discovery, depositions, and working with expert witnesses to motions practice to obtaining positive outcomes at hearings and trial. In addition, she helps her clients obtain favorable results through alternative dispute resolution.

Education

University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with Honors, 2007

  • Order of the Coif
  • Texas Law Review

Vanderbilt University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2003

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Honors in Economics
Experience

Probate and Fiduciary Litigation Experience

Morgan assists her clients with matters involving trust, estate, and probate proceedings, including:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Removal and appointment
  • Surcharge and disgorgement
  • Accountings
  • Will and trust contests
  • Undue influence and lack of capacity claims
  • Compensation disputes
  • Will and trust interpretation
  • Probate of wills
  • Guardianship and conservatorship appointment proceedings
  • Spousal rights
  • Mediation
  • Appeals of probate and fiduciary related issues

Estate and Trust Administration Experience

Morgan assists her clients with their estate and trust administration legal needs, including:

  • Advising individual and corporate fiduciaries
  • Advising beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors
  • Fiduciary duty issues and avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Trust construction and reformation
  • Complex estate administration
  • Interpretation and validity of wills and trusts
  • Guardianship and conservatorship administration
  • Trust management
  • Family dispute resolution
  • Anticipating, avoiding, and resolving complex tax and fiduciary legal issues
Representative Matters
  • Represented successor trustee in litigation against former trustee who stole $1.5mm from trust. Obtained $4.9mm judgment on summary judgment for civil theft and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • Represented personal representative in defense of surviving spouse’s elective share claim and challenge to premarital agreement and estate planning documents. Spouse’s claims included unconscionability, estoppel, undue influence, and lack of capacity.  Obtained favorable settlement for estate, paying spouse only $200,000 when estate faced potential $4mm liability.
  • First chaired bench trial representing siblings as trustees and agents for mother. Successfully defended against all claims brought by sister, including breach of fiduciary duty, removal, and accounting.
  • Second chaired seven-day bench trial representing estate beneficiary in proceedings on remand relating to surviving spouse’s elective share claim and corporate governance plan for decedent’s closely held business.
  • Second chaired eight-day jury trial representing conservators in claims against protected person’s stepson. Claims included undue influence and lack of capacity in connection with execution of loan documents and breach of fiduciary duty relating to management of LLC.  Jury verdict returned in favor of conservators on all claims.
  • Obtained $4.2mm default judgment for civil theft and breach of fiduciary duty against decedent’s son and former personal representative. Obtained emergency removal of son and appointment of successor fiduciary.  Granted pre-judgment writ of attachment against son to secure future judgment.
  • Represented trustee in defense of accounting, breach of fiduciary duty, and removal action. Negotiated favorable settlement with no personal liability for trustee.
  • Prepared multiple successful petitions for removal, including emergency removal petitions granted without a hearing.
  • Member of litigation team that obtained multi-million-dollar settlement for university as a charitable beneficiary of a trust. Litigation involved claims of undue influence, lack of capacity, breach of fiduciary duty, removal and surcharge, and defense of fraud claims.  Litigation team obtained successful results at all stages of dispute.
  • Represented financial institutions in interpleader actions in connection with disputes over beneficiary designations and disbursement of funds to trust beneficiaries.
  • Second chaired bench trial at which beneficiary clients prevailed on directed verdict on multiple claims and successfully enforced a no-contest clause against will contestant.
  • Assisted beneficiary in resolving multiple disputes involving complex family wealth transfer plan. Dispute involved trustees also serving as officers of family business, multi-state discovery disputes, claims for removal of trustees and surcharge, and claims for division and modification of trusts.
  • Represented corporate trustee in dispute involving appointment of conservator and administration of conservatorship for minor children.
  • Obtained favorable settlement in multi-state dispute between siblings involving breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence claims.
Bar Admissions

Colorado

New York

Professional Affiliations

Denver Trust Officers’ Association, President

Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council, Member

Colorado Bar Association, Member

New York Bar Association, Member

American Bar Association, Member

Honors and Distinctions

Colorado Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, Estate & Trust Litigation, 2020

The Best Lawyers in America©, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, 2021

Publications
  • “Holding Closely Held Business Assets in Trust,” Colorado Lawyer, Co-Author, March 2020
  • “Contests and Disputes in Estate and Trust Proceedings,” Orange Book Handbook: Colorado Estate Planning Handbook, 7th Edition and 2020 Supplement
  • “Is the Irrevocable Trust Really Irrevocable?,” Colorado Lawyer, October 2018
  • “Fiduciary Litigation Trends,” Council Notes, Winter 2017
  • “To Contest or Not: Drafting and Litigating No-Contest Clauses,” The Colorado Lawyer, January 2017
Recent Speaking Engagements
  • “Holding Closely Held Business Assets in Trust”, Colorado Bar Association Estate Planning Retreat, October 2020
  • “Standing Under the Uniform Power of Attorney Act”, Holland & Hart Trust & Estate Litigation Symposium, October 2019
  • “In the Interest of Joanne Black, Protected Person”, Colorado Bar Association Estate Planning Retreat, June 2018
  • “Navigating Changes to the Irrevocable Trust”, Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, March 2018
  • “Modification of Irrevocable Trusts”, Holland & Hart Trust & Estate Litigation Symposium, October 2017
  • “Is the Irrevocable Trust Really Irrevocable?”, Colorado Bar Association Advanced Estate Planning Symposium, October 2017
  • “Digital Assets in Estate Planning”, Colorado Bar Association Trust & Estate Spring Update, March 2017
  • “Hot Fiduciary Litigation Topics”, Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, February 2017
  • “No Contest Clauses – Risks and Rewards”, Holland & Hart Trust & Estate Litigation Symposium, November 2016
  • “No Contest Clauses – Current Perspectives on Estate Planning & Litigation”, Estate Planning Council of Southeast Denver, September 2016
  • “No Contest Clauses – Current Perspectives on Estate Planning & Litigation”, Colorado Bar Association Trust & Estate Section CLE Luncheon Series, September 2016

Our Location

1801 California Street, Suite 3400
Denver, Colorado 80202
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Email: info@williamsweese.com
Phone 303.861.2828
Fax 303.861.4017