Long Beach Trust Litigation Lawyers Assisting Clients Dealing With Trust Litigation Issues
Trusts are a popular estate planning tool for those who want to have more control over the process of passing on their wealth while keeping their affairs out of probate. Every trust comes with a specific set of rules that dictate how the trust should be created, managed, and eventually distributed to beneficiaries. Trusts are by no means flawless, and sometimes family members may have disagreements over a trust. Our attorneys discuss trust litigation in California and your options for taking legal action and initiating a trust contest.
Can Trusts Be Contested in California?
Trusts can be contested in California by anyone who has legal standing and enough grounds to initiate the contest suit. The process works similarly to that of a will contest, in which you would file a lawsuit with the court that has jurisdiction over the trust. Most types of trust, whether they are revocable or irrevocable, can be contested.
The process is not always simple or easy to win. Your first step to initiate a trust contest is to speak to a skilled trust litigation attorney to make sure you have a solid case. The courts will likely not consider your claim as valid if you are simply dissatisfied with the inheritance you received. Your attorney may help you build a compelling case that may give you a better chance of a positive outcome.
What Are the Grounds for Filing a Trust Contest in California?
Coercion or undue pressure, fraud, or lack of mental capabilities are some of the most common reasons for initiating a trust contest. If a family member suspects an elderly parent may have been pressured by an adult child to create the trust or change the trust terms to favor that person, the trustor may have been a victim of coercion.
If someone was suffering from a condition that impaired their mental capabilities – such as Alzheimer’s or dementia – at the time the trust was created or changed, you may also have grounds for a trust contest. Another possible reason for a lawsuit is if you can prove that the person managing the trust was involved in fraud or acting in bad faith. Breach of the trustee’s fiduciary duties can also be a basis to bring a suit. It may be in your best interest to talk to an attorney before taking any legal action to ensure you have enough legal grounds for a trust contest.
Can Anyone Initiate a Trust Contest?
In order to be eligible to initiate a trust contest, there are a few requirements you may need to fulfill. First, you likely need to have legal standing, which is a broadly-defined concept. In essence, it means you are one of many possible parties with a property right that could possibly be affected by the contest. Heirs, children, a spouse, other family members or beneficiaries, and even creditors could fall under this category.
Another possible requirement is that the person who wants to initiate a lawsuit should prove that they are having a financial loss because of the trust. This person should be able to demonstrate that they would make more financial gains if the trust they intend to challenge did not exist.
Why Should I Work With a Trust Litigation Attorney?
Contesting a trust is a difficult, laborious, and often emotionally-charged process. You need to gather enough evidence to construct a solid case and take all the right steps to get the court to hear your case. An attorney can not only help you with the technicalities of the trust litigation process but he or she can also help you with the extensive work required to prepare your case while remaining objective and clear-minded.
At Barilari & Williams, LLP, our legal team is well-versed in all aspects of trust litigation and can assist you from the very first steps all the way to the end of your lawsuit. We have assisted countless clients in Long Beach and surrounding areas and have a full understanding of how to prepare a successful trust litigation case and present it to the courts. If your inheritance or financial well-being is in jeopardy due to issues with a trust, give us a call at 888-EST-PLAN to see how we can help.