Trusts are a common and effective way of ensuring certain assets are distributed or passed down to the appropriate parties. When an individual wants to set up a trust, this means that they are creating a legal entity that will hold assets on behalf of another person or persons. The trustee is responsible for managing the trust and its assets and carrying out the trustor’s wishes, as spelled out in the trust document. However, sometimes trusts can become the subject of litigation.
In this event, it is important to have an experienced Rancho Mirage trust litigation attorney on your side who can assess what factors are causing the dispute and offer real legal solutions to expedite the matter. While it may seem that any lawyer could handle a trust litigation case, you will have a better shot at success if you choose someone with experience and expertise in estate planning and trust litigation.
At Bochnewich Law Offices, our team has decades of experience helping clients with a wide range of estate planning needs, including the creation of trusts. We understand the importance of having a well-crafted trust document that meets the specific needs of the trustor and complies with all state and federal laws. We also understand that disputes can arise after the trust has been created, and we are prepared to handle these cases in a manner that is respectful of all parties involved. Whether you are looking for support in estate administration, trust litigation, or trust administration, our team is here to help resolve these frequently seen disputes for Rancho Mirage residents.
What Is Trust Litigation?
Trust litigation is the legal process that is used to resolve disputes over trusts. This can include disputes between the trustee and the beneficiaries, or it can be a dispute between two or more beneficiaries. Trust litigation can be a complex process, and it is often necessary to involve multiple parties to reach a resolution. Some examples of common trust disputes include:
Breach of fiduciary duty by the trustee
Undue influence by one beneficiary over another
Questions about the validity of the trust
Questions about the interpretation of the trust
Conflicts over how the assets in the trust should be distributed
Allegations of fraud or misrepresentation
Any of these accusations are serious and require both tact and experience to resolve. You need a Rancho Mirage trust litigation attorney who is not afraid to take on these types of cases and who has the experience and knowledge to help you reach a resolution.
What Are The Different Types of Trusts?
Many different variations of trusts can be created, and each one has its own purpose. The most common types of trusts include:
Testamentary trusts: These are created through a will and take effect after the death of the one who created the trust, also known as the testator. They often hold assets for the benefit of minor children or grandchildren.
Revocable trusts: These trusts can be changed or revoked at any time by the person who created the trust, also known as the grantor. Someone might prefer this type of trust because it allows them more asset management flexibility.
Irrevocable trusts: These trusts cannot be changed or revoked once they have been created. Someone might choose this type of trust because it can offer certain tax advantages or asset protection benefits.
Charitable trusts: These are created for the purpose of providing support to a charitable organization. It’s a way to make a donation while also receiving certain tax benefits that come with giving to a charity.
Living trusts: These trusts take effect during the lifetime of the grantor and are used to manage assets and property. A huge benefit of this type of trust is that it can avoid the need for probate.
Special needs trusts: These trusts are created for the benefit of a person with special needs. This was designed to make sure that the person with special needs still qualifies for government benefits and assistance.
With many options available, it’s important to consult with an experienced Rancho Mirage trust attorney to determine which is right for your situation.
What Are the Different Roles in a Trust?
Three different roles are typically involved in a trust: the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiary.
The grantor is the person who creates the trust. They are also known as the settlor or trustor. The grantor has complete control over the assets in the trust and can make changes to the trust at any time. Grantors are commonly either a parent, grandparent, or other higher-ranking family member who wants to provide for their loved ones.
The trustee is the person who manages the trust. They are responsible for ensuring that the trust is being administered according to the terms that were set forth by the grantor. The trustee also has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust.
The beneficiary is the person who is entitled to receive the benefits of the trust. The grantor can name themselves as the beneficiary, or they can name someone else. Common beneficiaries include spouses, children, grandchildren, or other loved ones.
If you are involved in a trust in any capacity, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities. An experienced trust attorney in Rancho Mirage can help you understand your role in the trust and what you can expect.
What Happens When There Is a Trust Dispute?
Unfortunately, trust disputes are not uncommon. When this happens, certain legal interventions may be necessary to resolve. This involves:
The petitioner who has an issue with the trust will formally file a petition with the court.
A notice will be sent to all of the parties involved in the trust, including the trustee and beneficiaries. At this point, a hearing date will be set.
All of the parties will have an opportunity to present their case at the hearing. After all of the evidence has been presented, the judge will make a decision. The judge’s ruling is binding on all of the parties involved in the trust.
Common reasons for trust disputes include:
The trustee is not properly administering the trust.
The trustee is not following the terms of the trust.
The trustee is not acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries are not being treated equally.
There are legitimate scenarios where a trust needs to be modified or even terminated due to illegal or improper actions by the trustee. However, there are other times when a trust dispute arises simply because someone is unhappy with the way that the trust is being administered. Work directly with a Rancho Mirage trust lawyer to learn more about your legal options in either scenario.
Choosing which form of trust best suits your needs: Many different types of trusts can be created, each with its own unique benefits. From living trusts that can be used to avoid probate to special needs trusts that can protect government benefits, it’s important to choose the right type of trust that will honor your wishes.
Drafting the trust agreement: The trust agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of the trust. It also entails selecting who will be a part of the trust and the assets to be included in it. It will need to be notarized to be valid.
Funding the trust: The trust will need to be funded for it to be effective. This means transferring ownership of the assets that you want to be included in the trust into the name of the trust.
Operating the trust: Once the trust is created, it will need to be managed according to the terms that were outlined in the trust agreement. This includes ensuring that the assets in the trust are being used as you intended.
Top Reasons to Hire a Trust Litigation and Estate Planning Attorney
If you are involved in a trust in any capacity, it is highly advisable to seek legal assistance from a Rancho Mirage trust litigation attorney. Here are some of the top reasons to do so:
You need assistance drafting or reviewing a trust agreement.
You are the trustee of a trust and need guidance on your duties and responsibilities.
You are a beneficiary of a trust and believe that the trustee is not acting in your best interests.
You are involved in a trust dispute and need legal assistance to reach a resolution.
With a strong academic background in trust law coupled with years of experience finding creative solutions to complex legal problems, a trust litigation attorney is the strategic key to success in advancing any trust-related legal matter with speed and precision.
Contact Bochnewich Law Offices Today
If you are involved in a trust and need legal assistance, contact Bochnewich Law Offices today to schedule a consultation. Our team is standing by, ready to take on your case and guide you through the legal process as your advanced estate planning law firm.
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