Often in the waning years of people’s lives, they may become susceptible to fraud or abuse. Also, family issues can be difficult to work out, especially after you have all lost someone close to you. If you encounter any issues during the trust administration process, or the actions of a trustee or beneficiary are thrown into question, you might need a trust litigation attorney. Whenever you deal with issues as serious as trust disputes or potential violations of duties, you should make sure you have the law on your side.
A trust litigation attorney can help you understand your rights, investigate the circumstances of the issue and examine the details of the trust to protect your interests. Find out when you might need to give our trust litigation lawyers a call.
1. The trust is the product of undue influence or fraud
A trust may be contested if it is not the product of the will of the creator. This means the creator of the trust must be acting of his or her own accord and cannot be coerced into creating or changing a trust. The creator of the trust must also be of sound mind when the trust was established.
If any of this is put into question, you may need the help of a trust litigation attorney. In situations where family members, loved ones, or caregivers are disputing the legality of a trust, a lawyer can provide the legal advisement and representation you need to defend your interests.
2. Conflicting interpretations of the wishes of the creator of the trust
Sometimes caregivers may take advantage of elderly or ailing individuals by attempting to obtain some or all of their assets after their death. Many of the cases we see involve disputes over someone other than an immediate family member inheriting, although inheritance by children of second marriages or cousins can also cause major disagreements. When a deceased person leaves behind a large number of assets, it can lead to particularly tense situations involving inheritance, and sometimes even the immediate family members of the diseased may disagree about their inheritance.
In a situation where the deceased person left his or her possessions to someone who was not a family member, it might raise suspicion in the family and questions of fraud. A trust litigation attorney can help determine whether or not a trust was legally binding and can help support those findings in probate court, if necessary.
The death of a loved one is always hard, and the heightened emotions do often lead to serious family disputes regarding wills and trusts. If you need legal representation regarding a trust issue, our firm can help
3. A trustee is not acting lawfully or fairly
Sometimes a trustee may also be a beneficiary of a trust, which may tempt him or her to act unfairly or unlawfully. For example, a trustee may not distribute the proceeds of the trust to the beneficiaries on time, or he or she may breach the trust terms. If you are a beneficiary and you feel your trustee is acting biased or unfairly, or is perhaps not properly performing the duties required of his or her position, you need legal representation. A trust litigation lawyer will use his or her legal knowledge of estate and trust to determine how a trustee is violating the requirements of the trust.
4. Trustees disagree about what to do with assets in a trust
It isn’t uncommon for a trust to have multiple trustees, and when those trustees disagree about the control of their collective funds or properties, it can lead to a serious dispute. If there is a serious disagreement, it might be best to seek legal representation to ensure that your wishes are protected.
Contact Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C. for a free case evaluation.