Being named a trustee is an honor, but it also comes with many duties, both in the administration of the trust as well as a fiduciary duty towards the trust and trust beneficiaries. If a trustee in California fails to properly execute their duties, it could give rise to trust litigation. Therefore, it is important for beneficiaries to understand what a trustee's role is with regards to the trust, so they can recognize when the trust is being mishandled.
A person in California can carefully execute a comprehensive estate plan, with the hopes of making it clear what their wishes are with regards to who will inherit what, as well as what end-of-life care they desire. Yet, no matter how detailed their estate plan is, once they pass on, there is always the potential for litigation. Grief aside, sometimes, an heir has a legitimate reason to contest a will or trust.
When a person in California dies, their loved ones will grieve. However, this grief is only amplified if the person's survivors disagree with the contents of the person's trust. Sometimes, these disagreements are small enough that the parties involved can resolve them on their own. But, these disagreements are so big that they lead to trust litigation. This may be especially true if one party believes the deceased was unduly influenced when he or she executed or modified the trust.
Many people in California have established a living trust as a means for distributing their assets to their chosen beneficiaries upon their death. However, even the most carefully thought-out trust can be the subject of trust litigation brought by a beneficiary who believes the trust should rendered invalid. When a beneficiary wants to challenge a trust, they will have to file a lawsuit against all other beneficiaries. This makes challenging a trust more complicated than challenging a will.
When a person in California creates an estate plan, one document they might consider executing is a trust. A trust is overseen by a trustee. However, after a trust is created, the trustee must uphold his or her fiduciary duty. The failure to do so could lead to trust litigation. The following post will provide a brief overview of how a trust is created, and what a trustee's fiduciary duty entails.
While some San Mateo, California, residents may have heard the old adage that trusts help a family "avoid probate," the reality is that legal disputes involving the terms or creation of a trust can lead to full-blown trust litigation and, with that, one or several trips to the courthouse.