Given an aging baby boom generation with accumulated family wealth from rising property and asset values, there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits concerning the administration of such trusts and estates, and the disposition of such assets among surviving family members and beneficiaries. In some cases, the trust attorney who prepared an estate plan is not qualified to litigate disputes between and among successor trustees and beneficiaries following the death of the settlor parent(s) who established the trust. Probate courts and legal procedures are complex and require experienced litigators with financial backgrounds.
Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian attorneys have the business background and litigation experience to handle complex trust litigation, having successfully represented high net worth individuals (both trustees and beneficiaries) in legal disputes involving estates up to $1 billion. To arrange a free consultation today, call (949) 831-6611 or send us a message online.
How Can a Trust Litigation Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself involved in a trust dispute or suspect wrongdoing within a trust, it is crucial to consult a real estate lawyer promptly. Here are some key roles a trust litigation lawyer plays:
Trust litigation lawyers employ in-depth knowledge of estate planning laws, trust administration, and probate procedures to find practical solutions to conflicts. They explore options for settlement negotiations, develop strategies, and litigate cases when necessary, always with the goal of achieving a fair and just outcome.
Analyzing Trust Documents
Trusts can be complex legal instruments, and understanding their terms and provisions is critical. A trust litigation attorney will thoroughly analyze trust documents to interpret the intentions of the trust creator and identify potential issues that may give rise to litigation.
Breaches and Misconduct
Trustees have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. A trust litigation lawyer investigates allegations of breaches of duty, financial mismanagement, conflicts of interest, or other trustee misconduct and takes appropriate legal action to protect the beneficiaries’ rights.
What Can Trust Litigation Help You Do?
Trust litigation can help you address and resolve legal disputes related to trusts. It typically involves legal actions taken to:
- Challenge trust validity: If you believe a trust was created under duress, fraud, undue influence, or lack of capacity, trust litigation can help you contest its validity.
- Interpret trust terms: When there is ambiguity or disagreement regarding the interpretation of a trust document, trust litigation can provide a legal process to determine the intended meaning and enforce the terms accordingly.
- Remove or replace trustees: If a trustee is not fulfilling their duties, mismanaging trust assets, or engaging in misconduct, trust litigation can seek their removal or replacement.
- Resolve beneficiary disputes: When conflicts arise among beneficiaries, such as disagreements over distributions, trust administration, or breaches of fiduciary duty, trust litigation can help resolve these disputes.
- Recover misappropriated assets: If trust assets have been misappropriated or wrongfully transferred, trust litigation can help recover those assets on behalf of the trust or its beneficiaries.
- Modify or terminate a trust: In certain circumstances, trust litigation can be used to seek modifications to a trust or even its termination if the purpose of the trust is no longer feasible or relevant.
Overall, trust litigation provides a legal avenue to address and resolve complex issues and disputes related to trusts, ensuring that the intentions of the trust creator are properly carried out, and the interests of the beneficiaries are protected.
Time Limits on Contesting Trusts in California
In California, the timeframe to contest a trust is generally 120 days from the date the trustee sends a notification regarding the existence of the trust or 60 days from the date the person contesting the trust receives a copy of the trust document, whichever is later. This timeframe is specified in the California Probate Code Section 16061.7.
However, there may be exceptions and additional factors that can affect the deadline to contest a trust. Therefore, it is recommended to consult an attorney to understand the specific deadlines and requirements applicable to your situation.
Contact Us Today
At Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian, our team has decades of combined experience protecting our clients’ interests and their loved ones. Call (949) 831-6611 or send us a message online to arrange a free consultation.