Will Sleeth

Partner, LeClairRyan

Will Sleeth is a Williamsburg, VA-based partner in national law firm LeClairRyan. He serves as leader of the firm’s Estate and Trust Litigation Practice Area Team, a nationwide team composed of over a dozen attorneys focusing on disputes involving wills, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and elder law matters. Having litigated approximately 100 estate disputes – ranging from local disputes in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, to those all across Virginia, to complex multi-jurisdictional disputes throughout the nation involving estates valued at over $50 million – Sleeth  knows the ins and outs of the complex legal and emotional issues that arise when individuals and families need legal counsel to deal with estate issues and elder law disputes. He  handles some of the largest and highest-profile will and trust disputes in the area, and has litigated cases that have collectively totaled over approximately $200 million in assets.


Sleeth has also litigated a wide array of will disputes, including bringing and defending against challenges to wills on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud, and failure to comply with the proper formalities. He has also litigated cases involving will interpretation disputes. His cases often involve high net-worth individuals and families, and Will’s experience has not only prepared him to aptly handle the legal issues involved in those cases, but also to proficiently handle the media and public relations issues that occasionally arise with such cases. 

His trust litigation practice consists of bringing, and defending against, challenges to trustees regarding claims of breach of fiduciary duty, claims of violations of the Virginia Uniform Trust Code (including failure of the trustee to inform and report to the beneficiaries), and claims of violations of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act. His clients range from large institutional trust companies to individual trustees. 

Sleeth  has also handled countless guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, including hotly contested proceedings, and proceedings relating to agents under a power of attorney misusing their authority. His experience provides him with the insight to handle matters ranging from routine uncontested guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, to vigorously contested proceedings involving disagreeable families and friends. 

Additionally, Sleeth represents individuals, families, and friends in situations involving elder law disputes and the exploitation of elderly persons. He has extensive experience with situations involving: people pressuring elderly people to change their wills or trusts or make gifts; mistreatment or exploitation of elderly people; and instances of “parent-napping” or “granny-napping.” 

Sleeth serves as the editor of the Estate Conflicts legal blog, which can be accessed at: www.estateconflicts.com.

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