Sometimes, despite the best intentions of the settlor, a living trust document creates confusion or conflict. Problems may include the omission of close family members on the document or an unclear statement of who the beneficiaries are.
Mistakes due to incompetent legal professionals or evidence of illegal activity, such as forgery, can throw the entire trust document into question.
Fortunately, a trust document can be contested. However, it is extremely difficult – almost impossible – to contest a trust while the settlor is still living.
If you suspect illegal circumstances surrounding the trust, you may need a formal investigation to substantiate your claims. Also, to have a case, you need legal standing; that is, to contest a trust in court, you must be a legal heir. You must have a solid legal reason for the challenge too; this could mean proving that what the settlor meant to happen to his estate runs counter to the trust.
Many people challenge a trust when the intentions of the settlor are brought into question. If the settlor was mentally incompetent at the time of creating the trust, for example, then it may be invalid.
Also, if there is evidence that a settlor was coerced into signing, it creates grounds for legal action. An accusation of forgery is another serious reason for a legal challenge; if proven, it means that the settlor had no legitimate intention of creating the trust; therefore, it should not legally exist.
Other legal challenges to trusts focus on improper execution, such as failing to specify clearly who the trustee or beneficiaries are. Some contest a trust because no witnesses were present at the time of the signing, again bringing the intentions of the settler into question.
When challenging a living trust, always hire adept legal assistance; many trust laws are exceedingly complex, and the consequences of an improperly organized challenge to a trust could mean that you lose your share of its funds.
Contesting a trust can be emotionally complicated, too, and can cause serious damage to family relationships. Hiring expert legal professionals lets you weigh the costs of pursuing the legal action against the benefits.
If you think you have grounds for contesting a trust and are considering doing it, call the Law Office of Richard Nevins to explore your options. We will find the best solution for you based on our legal knowledge and years of experience. Be sure to fill out our form; this will help us to fully understand your situation before we meet with you, so that we can offer you our advice.