Disagreements about wills, trusts, the probate process, and the actions or inactions of fiduciaries can be highly contentious. Luckily, there can be equitable solutions available that offer fairness to all parties involved and can help fulfill the wishes of the original asset holder.
The Hargrove Firm’s Trust & Estate Litigation Group advises clients who are dealing with issues concerning trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and estates with a particular focus on the representation of professional fiduciaries, and in all phases of litigation. These cases can often be complex and require experienced and sophisticated legal services. The vast experience of the estate litigation attorneys has prepared them to address whichever trust and estate litigation challenges might emerge.
As leader of the Trust and Estate Litigation Group at Hargrove Firm, Megan brings practical experience to the table for each of her clients navigating disputes concerning trusts, estates, and guardianships. Prior to joining Hargrove Firm, Megan handled complicated and contentious estate, trust, and guardianship matters, civil litigation matters, and other various legal matters with the Lexington-based firm of Rose Grasch Camenisch Mains PLLC (RGCM). Prior to her tenure with RGCM, Megan gained significant civil litigation experience at a Lexington-based insurance defense firm.
A native Texan, Megan now calls Kentucky her home. Megan attended the University of Texas at Arlington, earning her Bachelor’s in Business Administration (Marketing) Magna Cum Laude in 2002. Megan obtained her Juris Doctor with Honors from Texas A&M University School of Law in 2013. Megan enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, and many animals on their small farm in Paris, Kentucky. Megan attends Southland Christian Church, where she volunteers in the Children’s Ministry and other outreach ministries.
David Spalten’s legal career has focused on high net worth trusts, estates and fiduciary litigation, broker-dealer, officer and director liability, shareholder, partnership, private equity and related areas within the financial services industry, and spans more than three decades. He is Of Counsel to Hargrove Firm in Georgia and supports Partner Megan Holt in complex trusts, estates, will contest and fiduciary litigation matters. David represents families, beneficiaries, heirs, fiduciaries, trusts, and estates in complicated and tax-motivated trust and estate litigation including will contests, trusts and will reformation, fiduciary law, pre- and postnuptial agreements, matrimonial litigation, and family business and succession disputes in his work with Hargrove Firm. Launched in 2017, his privately-owned Georgia firm serves the needs of publicly traded, closely held and family businesses, entrepreneurs, shareholders, management, and employees in general and complex commercial and fiduciary litigation and dispute resolution.
Prior to 2017, David was an equity partner with a New York-based national commercial litigation boutique, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, representing Fortune 500 companies, private equity, and other investment firms in commercial and fiduciary litigation and at trial. From 1986 to 2006, he was a partner with Merritt & Tenney, LLP, where he ran its high net worth wills, trusts, probate, matrimonial and national tax, fiduciary and commercial trial litigation and arbitration practice. Throughout his career he has represented clients in the securities, insurance, real estate, communications, manufacturing, technology, and healthcare sectors.
David graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Alfred University and earned his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in Georgia and New York and is Martindale Hubbell AV rated. David has also practiced in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit; the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit; in the U.S. Tax Court; and in various state courts across the country, including in trust and estate matters in Kentucky.
Julia draws on more than 25 years of legal experience for her role with the Trust & Estate Litigation Group at Hargrove Firm. She is of counsel to the Hargrove firm in North Carolina and also supports Partner Megan Holt. For much of her legal career, Julia practiced law in North Carolina as owner of her own firm, focusing primarily on estate planning, business law, civil and criminal litigation, domestic law and real estate. In addition, she served on the state-wide quasi-judicial NC Property Tax Commission, ruling on appeals from 100 counties regarding valuations of commercial and private properties, and eligibility for property tax exclusions. For eighteen years, she served as a trustee at Western Piedmont Community College, including two terms as Chair of the Board of Trustees.
In the last five years, Julia has also worked internationally, first as an adjunct law professor at the University of Economics and Law at the Vietnam National University-HCMC, and then as an associate law professor at the New Vision University School of Law in Tbilisi, Georgia (formerly of the Soviet Union). In Vietnam, she also consulted for VinaCapital Foundation, a national Vietnamese NGO fighting children’s heart disease, where she prepared contracts and service agreements, assisted with grant projects, and provided general commercial counsel.
Julia graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill. Following graduation from law school, Julia had the distinct honor to serve as a federal appellate law clerk for the Honorable Sam J. Ervin, III, on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Founding Partner Jamie Hargrove developed Hargrove Firm into one of the premiere estate planning law firms in the United States, with offices in multiple states and nationwide team of affiliated attorneys. As both an attorney and a CPA, Jamie Hargrove’s understanding of financial matters provides valuable insight into innovative estate and business planning.
By parlaying his legal acumen into his proclivity for using technology to create efficient, scalable processes, Jamie differentiated himself and his practice as a pioneer in applying modern tools to legal services. In fact, his “First Step Planning” online service introduced in 2012 streamlined the estate planning process so much that Hargrove Firm received the James I. Keane Award from the American Bar Association Law Practice Division for the online delivery of legal services. First Step Planning became the essential groundwork for the development of NetLaw, a breakthrough technology platform that automates the entire estate planning legal services process. NetLaw is now the exclusive provider of Hargrove Firm’s online estate planning services.
Mr. Hargrove is an AV Preeminent® attorney, which is the highest peer-reviewed standard rating with Martindale-Hubbell®. He has been selected to the Kentucky Super Lawyers list three times and included in seven editions of The Best Lawyers in America® for Trusts and Estates. Hargrove was the first attorney in Kentucky to be awarded the Accredited Estate Planner® designation. In 2014, he published his first book, entitled The End of Lawyers, Thank Goodness!: Estate Planning and the End of Inefficient Lawyers. He is a regular contributing author and trusted subject matter expert for several publications, including an ongoing article series in “The Street,” a national financial and accounting news agency. In addition to leading the Firm’s national estate planning practice, Mr. Hargrove contributes his extensive experience to the Litigation Group’s team of attorneys.
Megan was a great asset in helping me sell my house and closing the estate of my husband. Due to family interruptions, it was more complicated than it should have been. She patiently took care of all.
I would like to attest that Megan Holt and her staff did a wonderful job of handling the estate sale for me and my family. She was very thorough, patient, and informative every step of the way. I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for an estate attorney of the highest caliber.