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Can Trust Litigation be Avoided?

Published on October 21st, 2018

Estate Planning Lawyer

For those wishing to leave an inheritance or to pass down a family legacy to their loved ones, you will want to take every measure possible to prevent complications. No one wants to see the wealth they have worked so hard to build fought over by loved ones. When putting together a trust, it will be important to do everything in your power to prevent trust litigation further down the road. An attorney may be able to help set up a trust to help prevent the possibility of this occurring.

What is Trust Litigation?

When you have left a trust to loved ones, it’s not uncommon for people to dispute the administration of the trust. Beneficiaries may be the result of the dispute or in some cases, the trustees. People may disagree or misinterpret your intentions outlined within the trust. Others, may be looking to take advantage of what may appear to be a delicate situation. There are many reasons for a complication to occur that may result in the need for litigation:

  • The trustee does not communicate the contents of the trust to heirs. Meaning, heirs have no idea what their inheritance may be.
  • The trustee does not uphold their duty to safeguard the trust. For example: making poor investments, failing to file tax returns or using the trust as their own personal bank account.
  • Trustees are in disagreement over the instructions you have left.
  • The trustee uses the trust for their own financial gain.
  • There is a family dispute over the trust.

Most trust litigation involves disputes involving the trustee. Unfortunately, if your heirs are faced with this type of situation they will need to act fast by contacting a trust litigation attorney. This will be key to ensuring that they are able to retain their inheritance.

Preventing Problems

It will be up to you and your estate planning lawyer to carefully lay out the details of the trust you are creating. Taking the time to mitigate problems before they even start, can prevent your heirs from facing the stress of worrying over their inheritance. Some tips for avoiding complications after you pass may include:

  • Choose someone as trustee whom you trust and is up for the task. Speak with them regarding the contents of the trust and how you would like your wishes carried out. Make sure to check in with them every few years to ensure that they are still up for this responsibility.
  • Have a back up plan. In case the named trustee has passed away or is no longer up for the task, it will be key to have a number of successor trustees. A successor trustee is someone who can step in in the event that the original trustee is unable to carry this responsibility.
  • Make sure to review and make amendments to your trust on an ongoing basis. It will be important that you have the most up to date trust possible.

When putting together a trust, many can get lost in the process. An estate planning attorney can help you to remember the details that you may be leaving out. Not only can an attorney help to protect your interests, they can also do so for your loved ones. Allow for an attorney to support you and your loved ones in enduring the process of creating your trust. By doing so, you could reduce the likelihood of complications down the road. The last thing you want for loved ones is the need for trust litigation down the road.

When estate planning and in particular trust planning, consult with an attorney for help. They may be able to help make sure that nothing is left out and that all options have been considered. Although family can be unpredictable, especially when grieving a loss, a trust attorney Sacramento, CA relies on may be able to help you take measures that will protect your legacy.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Yee Law Group for their knowledge about estate planning and trust litigation.

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