A trust is a helpful estate planning asset for many individuals and families. There are many benefits to creating a family trust, as it ensures that the maximum amount of assets stays within the family rather than being seized by the government during the probate process. Many people use an estate planning attorney to help them create the best trust for their family’s needs.
However, even the best trusts encounter disputes. Beneficiaries, trustees, and other interested parties can easily raise issues that slow or halt the trust distribution process. What’s more, probate law can be complicated, and roadblocks may appear. In these cases, a trust litigation attorney can help to determine the right steps to resolve the issue.
With the help of a trained litigator, you can traverse your trust litigation case with ease. No matter your relationship with the deceased, we are here to make sure that any issues are resolved quickly and quietly.
Bochnewich Law Offices: Your Indian Wells Trust Lawyers
For many years, the expert team of attorneys at Bochnewich Law Offices has been helping families navigate trust law. We know that carrying out a trust is a complicated process, and the challenges are compounded by grief and loss. We are here to make sure that you have all the information and resources you need to navigate through this difficult time.
If you are creating a trust to benefit future generations, we can help with that too. We have unparalleled expertise in trust litigation and estate planning, giving us the unique ability to help with any aspect of the trust process. If you are considering adding a living trust to your estate plan, we are here to guide you with the very best resources in the Indian Wells area.
You can trust our firm because we have many years of experience in a wide range of trust litigation and estate planning topics. We can offer comprehensive legal advice to you and your family during this time.
What Is Trust Litigation?
Trust litigation comes in many forms, and every case is different. However, there are some basics you should understand before you go through any trust litigation process. At its core, trust litigation encompasses any occasion on which a family member or concerned party takes a trust to court to question its validity or its terms.
Litigation may occur for a myriad of different reasons. Some common examples include:
A beneficiary has a concern about the contents of the trust.
One or more of the beneficiaries are concerned about the trustee’s ability to carry out the trust or their tactics for doing so.
There are concerns about the trustor’s mental state when the trust was created.
There are signs that the trustor was unfairly and illegally coerced into creating the terms of the trust.
Fraud or forgery is suspected.
Through litigation, families can get the answers that they need from the court. A judge can determine the next steps based on trust law and the terms of the documents at hand.
Trustees, Trustors, and Beneficiaries
It is important to understand the roles involved in trust litigation and trust administration. This can help you to navigate the process and raise appropriate concerns if they should arise.
A trustor is the person who creates the trust. This individual uses the trust to create a plan for their estate to be executed when they pass away. As part of their trust, they name a trustee.
The trustee is the person who holds the assets for the trustor and distributes them when the trustor dies. The trustee is in charge of carrying out the terms of the trust. This person can be a loved one or a professional, such as an attorney.
Finally, the beneficiaries are the individuals who receive assets from the trust after the trustor dies.
For example, suppose your grandmother has a large estate, so she sets up a trust for you. In this instance, your grandmother is the trustor. She names your uncle as the trustee. When your grandmother dies, it is your uncle’s job to distribute your grandmother’s things to the people she wanted to give them to. If your grandmother left her jewelry to you in her trust, you are a beneficiary.
Irrevocable and Revocable Trusts
There are many different ways to organize a trust. However, no matter what type of trust is at hand, it will fall under the category of an irrevocable trust or a revocable trust.
An irrevocable trust means that the terms of the document are permanent and legally binding at the time of signing. The trustor cannot change these terms, as the assets immediately move to the possession of the trustee when the document is signed. This can cause problems if a family’s situation or structure changes before the trustor dies, as no amendments can be made. However, this format does help the trust avoid taxes, which gives more money to the beneficiaries while less falls to the state.
A revocable trust is much more flexible. Sometimes called a “living trust,” a revocable trust can be changed or dissolved by the trustor while they are still alive. The trustor also retains their assets while they are still living, meaning that they have access to and control over their estate. As a family grows or changes, the trustor can change the terms of the trust to reflect the situation. A revocable trust must include a trustee who will manage the trust if the trustor becomes incapacitated. When the trustor dies or becomes incapacitated, the trust becomes irrevocable.
Contact Bochnewich Law Offices
Whether you are creating a trust, executing someone else’s trust, or receiving assets from a trust, it is best to have a legal professional on your side. These documents are very complicated, and there are many opportunities for error throughout the creation and execution process. With a legal professional, you can be sure that your best interests are always a consideration.
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I have to say that Peter is also an unusual attorney in that he is compassionate and has a sense of what is just and appropriate; he will be honest and forthright with his client, but will absolutely fight to right a perceived injustice. I can't say enough great things about this attorney.
With Peter’s guidance, we were able to navigate through a very stressful situation. Throughout the process, Peter was always available for questions and prompt with the right answers. At no time did we feel alone in this process. His compassion and experience were invaluable, and we were able to right a terrible wrong. I would highly recommend attorney Peter Bochnewich for your legal needs.”
Throughout a long and sometimes difficult legal battle, my sister and I were constantly impressed by the depth of Mr. Bochnewich’s understanding of the law, his energy in applying it, and his intelligent and effective presence in court. We were also deeply appreciative of his warmth toward us and the deeply ethical behavior he exhibited both in and out of court. In the end, Mr. Bochnewich’s skills were responsible for removing the executor from the estate, and in our receiving a seven-figure judgment. I would not hesitate to recommend Peter Bochnewich to anyone seeking highly skilled legal assistance with estate and inheritance issues.”