Thousand Palms Practice Areas
For many families, trusts are extremely helpful. This estate planning resource can help to ensure that hard-earned money, property, and assets remain in the family for generations to come. Not only do trusts keep assets secure and allow for flexibility, but they also help to minimize the percentage of an estate that the court seizes in probate.
Whether you have created a trust or are benefiting from someone else’s, it is important to understand that things can go wrong. If an issue pertaining to a trust arises at any time, it is vital to have a trust litigation attorney on your side. We can help you navigate the complicated legal requirements and processes involved in trust litigation and estate planning.
Bochnewich Law Offices: Your Thousand Palms Estate Planning and Trust Litigation Attorneys
For many years, our estate planning attorneys have been helping our clients to create, maintain, and carry out the terms of a trust. Our experience in all areas of this field gives us a distinct advantage when it comes to trust litigation. With a comprehensive understanding of this topic, we can give you the best possible legal advice in the Coachella Valley.
Trust litigation is complicated, and there is often a lot at stake. Furthermore, many people become emotionally involved in trust litigation. As trusts are related to the death of a loved one, grief and other emotions run high. When you hire an attorney from Bochnewich Law Offices, we can help you to navigate the legal process properly and ensure that you are doing the very best for your family.
Trust litigation can occur at any time during the trust creation or distribution process. Our team is ready to help you, no matter what phase of the process you are experiencing.
What Is Trust Litigation?
There are many different kinds of trust litigation that you may experience throughout the process of creating or executing a trust. Fortunately, any person with a vested interest in the trust can raise concerns via the law. You do not have to be a close family member to raise an issue; you simply must have a legitimate connection to the trust and therefore a reason to raise a concern.
Trust litigation can happen for several different reasons and in several different scenarios. Some examples include:
- The trustee’s ability to execute the trust is called into question.
- A beneficiary raises a concern about their inheritance.
- A related party raises a concern about the trustor’s mental state or cognitive capacity at the time of signing.
- There is evidence that the trustor was coerced or forced into creating certain terms in the trust or signing the document.
- There is evidence of forgery or fraud.
Trust litigation allows the affected parties to bring their issues forward in court. A judge will review the documents and the situation and determine what should be done.
Why Do I Need a Thousand Palms Trust Litigation Lawyer?
If you are involved in a trust as a beneficiary or trustee and you find that something is wrong, a trust litigation attorney can help you navigate the issue. When you hire a trust litigation lawyer, you have someone who is advocating for you. If there is an estate planning attorney or probate attorney involved in your case, they are obligated to advocate for their own clients. By hiring a trust litigation lawyer, you have someone to fight for your rights and ensure that your needs are met.
There is a lot on the line in many trusts. A trust can contain a multitude of assets of both sentimental and monetary value. If you believe that something is amiss with a trust, you can protect your future finances and other personal assets by hiring an attorney.
Roles in a Trust
There are several official roles that are key to the trust process. Understanding these roles can help you understand your case and identify if something is wrong.
A trustor is the person who creates and puts their assets in the trust. Usually, the trust is carried out when this person passes away.
A trustee is the person who carries out the terms of the trust and the wishes of the trustor. It is the trustee’s job to organize the trustor’s assets and make sure that they get to the right people.
A beneficiary is a person who receives an inheritance from the trust. These inheritances may be in the form of money, objects, property, etc. There are often several beneficiaries in a trust, but there do not have to be.
For example, if your grandfather creates a trust, he is the trustor. If your grandfather assigns your mother to be in charge of organizing and distributing the assets outlined in the trust, your mother is the trustee. If you receive your grandfather’s cabin property through the trust, you are a beneficiary.
Categories of Trusts
There are many different types of trusts and ways to organize an estate. However, most every trust falls under one of two categories, and sometimes a trust can fall under both throughout its lifetime. The two categories are revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.
A revocable trust can also be called a “living trust.” These trusts are common because they give the trustor the ability to make changes or alterations as they see fit. The trustor still owns their assets while they are living and can update their trust as family members are born, die, marry in, divorce, etc.
An irrevocable trust is the opposite. Once an irrevocable trust has been signed, the trustor cannot make any changes to it. All decisions and terms are final, and the assets move to the possession of the trustee. There are some financial benefits to an irrevocable trust, primarily the minimized estate taxes and the reduced probate process. Nearly all trusts become irrevocable when the trustor dies.
Unfortunately, the individual who has been entrusted to carry out the terms of the trust will not necessarily behave honorably. If a beneficiary believes that a trustee is not doing their job correctly, they can engage in trust litigation to rectify the issue.
Common forms of trustee breaches include:
- A conflict of interest in which the trustee has a strong reason to act against the trustor’s wishes. For example, the trustee marries a beneficiary and moves to give the beneficiary more money than was outlined in the trust.
- The trustee’s finances become intertwined with the trust. Beneficiaries should expect that the trustee will keep clear financial records that they can request at any time.
- The trustee betrays the trustor’s confidence or allows someone else to do so.
- The trustee makes decisions that are outside the realm of what the deceased would have wanted.
Being a trustee is difficult, and honest mistakes can happen. In most cases, trustees fix any errors quickly and openly. If the trustee’s behavior signals dishonesty or fraud, beneficiaries have the right to open a trust litigation case.
Trusts and Wills
Although trusts are less common than wills, many people do not realize that both are necessary for a reliable estate plan. Many people create a revocable will when they reach upper middle age. There is a lot that can happen between this age and when a person dies. It is easy to forget to add things to your trust if you acquire them late in life, which leaves these assets vulnerable if you do not have a will.
For example, if you buy a vacation home after you create your trust and do not transfer the vacation home to the trust, it will automatically go to your next of kin if you die without a will. This may not be the best person to receive this property and can cause problems for your family.
However, if you have a will, it is easy to control assets that are outside the trust. You can leave your property to someone specific without putting it in the trust. Although this means that the property in question will go through probate court, it is better than having no control over certain assets.
It is best to hire a qualified estate planning attorney to help you create your will, trust, and any other estate planning accounts that you would like. Hiring an attorney ensures that the process is done correctly.
Contact Bochnewich Law Offices
Our team at Bochnewich Law Offices is here to help you with any form of estate planning or litigation that you may encounter. This area of law is extremely complicated, and many firms do not offer comprehensive care for their clients. Because we have such a wide range of expertise, we are confident that we can provide you with the very best resources throughout the trust process. Throughout our years in business, we have served trustors, trustees, beneficiaries, and interested third parties in trust litigation cases. Our aim is to ensure that the trust process goes smoothly and that the results are fair and according to the deceased’s wishes.
For more information about our trust litigation services, or any other services that we provide, contact Bochnewich Law Offices online today.