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Common Grounds for Contesting a Trust-What Are the Options

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What is Trust Litigation?

There are few times more difficult for a family to face than the loss of a loved one. While you are grieving, the last thing you want to deal with is the administration of the estate. Unfortunately, these things must be handled, and discovering a level of dishonestly among someone the deceased trusted to manage their affairs or, worse, that their entire will is invalid for one reason or another can cause a lot of added distress during a time of upheaval. Our compassionate lawyers understand California’s complex probate laws and will work aggressively to find solutions for you and your family.

Litigation lawyers will help you pursue legal action if you feel your loved one was the victim of undue influence while creating their will if there are disputes between family members in the administration of the trust and any other issues that may arise. Yonano Law Offices, PC has knowledgeable and committed litigation lawyers available to help your family discover your options. Call 916-894-8790 for a consultation.

What is a Trust?

Legally speaking, a trust is a legal arrangement to ensure a person’s assets go to their beneficiaries. There are multiple kinds of trusts, and they are used for different purposes.

  • A revocable trust is one in which your assets can be transferred during your lifetime, which you may change your mind about at any point and transfer the title back to yourself.
  • An irrevocable trust is a weightier decision, as once the title is transferred, you cannot change your mind.

Trusts are more complex than wills to set up. However, they have some benefits, such as the possibility of being excluded from probate, requiring the assistance of a knowledgeable financial advisor to set up. The probate lawyers at Yonano Law Offices, PC, can discuss the options with your family during the estate planning process to ensure you are best prepared.

What are Some of the Differences Between Wills and Trusts?

While there are many similarities between wills and trusts, several key differences exist. While both determine which of your survivors inherit your assets, they accomplish these goals differently. The most significant difference between trusts and wills is how and when each goes into effect.

  • Trusts are effective as soon as they are signed and funded
  • Wills go into effect once you pass away.

Let’s put this into a different context:

  • Wills are more “simple” documents. With a will, you can
  • Name guardians for minors or pets (our furry friends count too!)
  • Designate where your assets go
  • Make your wishes known for your final arrangements

Trusts are more complex because they are funded with assets while you are still alive. They are more complicated to set up, and they require a trustee. However, they may allow you to avoid probate, making them an attractive option for many people hoping to save their loved ones that hassle.

What is a No-Contest Clause?

A no-contest clause is language some people consider adding to their wills meant to discourage disgruntled survivors from challenging the validity of their wills. They are designed to keep those who seek to overturn or nullify the terms of a will or any of its provisions and lose from inheriting anything.

A sample of such a clause might read something like this:

“If any beneficiary under this will seeks to obtain in any court action that this will or any of its provisions is void, or seeks otherwise to void, nullify, or set aside this will or any of its provisions, then the right of that person to take any inheritance given to him or her by this will shall be null.”

Be wary of including any such language in your document. Such clauses sometimes work differently than intended. They tend to offer a false sense of security and may keep children or others from being able to mount objections if there is an actual cause for concern down the line. If you are concerned about protecting your will with such a clause, it is in your best interest and that of your loved ones to discuss your situation in depth with one of the trust litigation lawyers at Yonano Law Offices, PC. Call 916-894-8790 for a consultation.

What are Some Common Reasons Trusts are Contested?

There are many reasons people might contest a trust. Each situation is different, and every family’s situation is unique. A few reasons overlap with wills, like the deceased being a victim of undue influence or not being of sound mind at the creation of the trust. Undue influence occurs when someone has used a position of power (like that of a caretaker) to influence their portion of the inheritance. However, some other reasons particular to trusts deserve mention here.

  • The uniform trust code states a trust is invalid if its purpose is unlawful or against public policy.
  • A trust can be contested if the trustee has violated the terms
  • If there is a lack of requisite formalities,
  • If there is a settlor’s mistake
  • If there is evidence of Insane delusion.

Proving that a trust in its entirety or a portion of it is invalid is a difficult challenge and not one a grieving family should undertake alone. The knowledgeable trust-litigation lawyers of Yonano Law Offices, PC, will work tirelessly to find the solutions your family needs during this challenging period. Call Yonano Law Offices, PC, at 916-894-8790 for a consultation and peace of mind today.

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