Menu Contact Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
Contact a Lawyer

Is it more difficult to contest a will or a trust?

Individuals can utilize different tools when it comes to creating an estate plan. Most California residents have heard of wills, understand that they have benefits and commonly use them as part of their estate plans. Many people also know that trusts can work as useful tools, especially for parties who want to avoid the probate process or protect assets for future generations.

Though these tools can prove useful as your loved one creates an estate plan, you may wonder how the different documents could impact litigation proceedings if you believe an issue exists with part of the plan. For instance, is it more difficult to challenge a will or a trust?

Contesting a will

Will contests typically occur more commonly than challenges to a trust. When it comes to this type of a dispute, you may have an easier time pinpointing that an issue exists due to the public nature of your loved one's will. This document goes into the court record, and therefore, you may be able to access the information in the document when you desire.

However, in order to carry out a contest to a loved one's will, you must have standing to do so. This means that the terms of the will must directly impact you by having the status of heir or having been named in the document.

You must also have specific grounds for wanting to challenge the document. For example, your reason could relate to believing the creator of the will did not have the mental capacity to create the document or you believe that an outside party unduly influenced the creator in order to gain a more favorable outcome. Though the process may still prove difficult, having a specific reason for filing a will dispute may make the situation easier to confront.

Challenging a trust

When it comes to challenging a living trust, you could have a more difficult time than if dealing with a will. Rather than filing a dispute with the probate court as you would with a will, you would need to file suit against each beneficiary associated with the living trust. Additionally, trusts do not go into the public record, and as a result, you may not have access to all of the information associated with the trust.

When it comes to having grounds to challenge a living trust, you may also have a more difficult time finding a valid reason. As an individual creates a living trust during his or her lifetime and funds it as he or she transfers assets into the account, it may prove harder to argue that the individual did not act of his or her own volition.

Nonetheless, if you believe that an issue exists with a trust, you could still take legal steps to address the problem.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
email us for a response
Review Us
Map Location Image

Law Office of Jeffrey B. Pape, P.C.
642 Pollasky Avenue
Suite 100
Clovis, CA 93612

Toll Free: 800-797-5677
Fax: 559-299-0920
Map & Directions