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Do trust concerns have you considering litigation?

Many California residents choose to utilize revocable trusts in order to address some of their estate planning needs. You may have had a loved one who took such a route when creating an estate plan, and he or she may have named you as a beneficiary of the trust. Knowing that you stand to obtain assets from your loved one may have left you feeling pleased, but once you learned more about the terms of the trust, you could have felt concern.

Just like with a last will and testament, surviving family and other beneficiaries could find issues with a deceased individual's trust. When these concerns come about, you as a beneficiary may feel the need to challenge the trust in order to address the problems.

Reasons to contest a trust

Many reasons exist for potentially contesting a trust. Your reason may differ from individuals in similar situations, but in all likelihood, the same type of legal steps will need taking. First, you must determine whether you have a valid reason for challenging the trust. Some common reasons to take such action include:

  • You did not receive your fair share.
  • Another beneficiary was exempt from the trust.
  • The appointed trustee does not have the ability to properly administer the trust.

Additionally, because the creator of the trust -- or the grantor -- can change a revocable trust at any time during his or her life, sudden changes to the document may bring about concern. These concerns could prove especially prominent if any of the previously mentioned issues come about after the changes occur.

If the grantor makes changes that seem to greatly benefit a single person, you may also wonder if that individual unduly influenced the grantor. Undue influence can also stand as a reason to challenge a trust.

Properly challenging a trust

In order to properly challenge a trust, you will need to follow certain legal steps. The process involved with trust litigation can require considerable time and effort. Therefore, you may want to ensure that you feel prepared to take the necessary action if you have concerns you hope to see rightfully addressed.

Because this type of litigation can often be complex, acquiring the correct information and assistance could prove invaluable before beginning your case. Speaking with a probate litigation attorney may help you better understand your options and how to move forward.

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Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
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