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Person Photo

Matthew Skotak

Associate

555 17th Street, Suite 3200, Denver, CO 80202

Matt Skotak navigates disputes for his clients involving probate and fiduciary litigation, including disputes involving trusts, estates, guardianships, and conservatorships. He also assists clients with estate planning and administration.  

After law school, Matt clerked for the honorable C. Jean Stewart of the Denver Probate Court and gained invaluable perspective into complex trust, estate, and protective proceeding disputes. In his years of practice, Matt has gained experience representing clients in all areas of probate court litigation. He has first-chair trial experience in every District Court in the Denver Metro-Area and has co-chaired numerous cases across Denver and the state of Colorado.    

Today, Matt uses his experience to help clients evaluate options and identify solutions in the arena of fiduciary litigation. He represents an array of clients in the resolution of probate and trust-related litigation. Additionally, he helps his clients develop favorable outcomes through alternative dispute resolution when traditional litigation is undesirable or inadvisable.

Matt is an active speaker in the areas of trusts, estates, and protective proceedings. He blogs on these and related issues at Fiduciary Law Blog (www.fiduciarylawblog.com).

Experience

Probate and Fiduciary Litigation Experience

Matt assists his clients with matters of probate, trust, and fiduciary litigation, including:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Removal and appointment proceedings
  • Compensation disputes
  • Will and Trust contests 
  • Undue influence and lack of capacity claims
  • Anticipating, avoiding, and resolving complex tax and fiduciary legal issues
  • Surcharge and disgorgement
  • Appeals of probate and fiduciary related issues
  • Contested protective proceedings
Estate Planning and Administration Experience

Matt advises his clients with their estate planning and administration legal needs, including:

  • Advising corporate and individual fiduciaries
  • Preparation of trusts, wills, and other estate planning documents
  • Complex trust and estate administration
  • Trust management
  • Interpretation and validity of wills and trusts
  • Modifying and reforming trusts
  • Family dispute resolution
  • Estate tax return preparation

Client Results

  • Prevailed on appeal in defending orders from the trial court that found in favor of a protected person regarding a conservator’s breach of fiduciary duty and civil theft from the conservatorship. 

  • Prevailed at trial in a dispute involving the interpretation of a will contract by successfully defending claims against a beneficiary for breach of the will contract, unjust enrichment, and constructive trust.

  • Obtained a favorable settlement in a dispute between siblings involving their parents’ estates that involved claims of undue influence and lack of capacity.

  • Obtained emergency suspensions of fiduciary, including a trustee who failed to adequately account and distribute assets.

  • Assisted a corporate trustee to obtain a favorable settlement in a difficult trust administration and divorce proceeding, involving claims among the beneficiaries and divorcing parties. The claims included a constructive trust claim, disputes over trust distributions and fiduciary compensation.

  • Assisted beneficiary in resolving complex disputes involving an estate administration that spanned over 15 years.  The claims involved the interpretation of will and trust language, fiduciary compensation, and interpretation of appellate court findings.

  • Obtained a favorable settlement for personal injury claim for a minor and individually litigated the contested appointment of a conservator.

  • Lead litigation team that prevailed in removing personal representative for breach of fiduciary duty and successfully enforced spousal inheritance rights for disinherited spouse.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

Education

Bar Admissions

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Wills Lab, Supervising Attorney, 2012–present
  • Denver Probate Court and Arapahoe County District Court, Pro Se Clinic, Volunteer Attorney, 2012–present
  • Colorado Bar Association, Trust & Estates Section, 2009–present
  • Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Counsel, Member
  • Estate Planning Council of Southeast Denver, Member 
  • Gonzaga University Alumni Association, Board Member, 2006–2015
  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Probate Practicum, 2015–present
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