Trust litigation involves a legal dispute between two (2) or more parties to a Trust. The trust dispute can come at any point in time between the creation of the trust to its dissolution. It can arise with any type of trust, including living trusts and testamentary trusts and revocable and irrevocable trusts. Below are some examples involving Trust Litigation.
CHALLENGING THE CREATION OF THE TRUST
This type of trust litigation involves the validity of the trust agreement itself. Any type of Trust has to be validly created. If it is not, the Grantor or an aggrieved party (such as a disinherited spouse or child) can challenge the creation of the trust. Reasons to challenge creation of the trust include but are not limited to the following:
- Grantor not of sound mind;
- Grantor coerced or had undue influence;
- Trust created for the purpose of deceiving creditors.
CHALLENGING THE TERMS OF THE TRUST
In certain circumstances, the terms of the trust should not be legally enforced and can be challenged. Common examples include:
- Spouse claiming an elective share;
- Trust restrictions are against public policy;
- Trust terms vague or no longer serve their purpose.
CHALLENGING THE ACTIONS OF A TRUSTEE
The trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust. Those duties include the duty of loyalty and fair dealing. A violation of this duty is actionable in court. Common examples of actions against Trustee’s include:
- Trustee not following terms of Trust;
- Trustee stealing money or self dealing;
- Trustee is not doing his or her job.
REMOVING A TRUSTEE FOR CAUSE
If the actions of the trustee rise to the point of warranting removal of the Trustee, this can be done.
DISSOLUTION OF A TRUST
In certain instances the Trust itself may no longer serve the purpose it was intended for and a petition to dissolve the trust can be filed.
A trustee of a trust has a duty to the trust’s beneficiaries to provide accurate monetary figures for the beneficiary’s understanding. If a trustee fails to do so, an action to compel an accounting can be brought.
Furthermore once a trustee provides an accounting, objections to said accounting may be filed.
At the Levin Law Group, we file petitions to compel an accounting as well as doing the accounting itself, objections to the accounting and all litigation resulting therefrom.
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