Trust Estate Litigation

Trust estate litigation is a type of lawsuit that involves a dispute over a family trust. A family trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (the grantor) transfers property to another person (the trustee) to hold and manage for the benefit of a third person (the beneficiary). Trust litigation can arise between any of these parties.

Litigation Against the Trustee or Administrator

Navigating the intricate waters of estate litigation can be a daunting task. We are proficient in all areas of trust estate litigation, which include:

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty: This is when an executor or administrator fails to fulfill their obligations according to the stipulations of the will, trust, or estate in question. Notable examples could be inappropriate use of assets, failure to follow court orders, failure to pay taxes, or general mismanagement of the estate funds.
  • Objections to Accountings: There may arise instances where beneficiaries or others involved in the estate may disagree with how the executor or administrator is accounting for assets or handling financial affairs. This could result in disputes or contestations which our attorneys are well-versed in handling.
  • Executor Fee Disputes: Every executor is entitled to fair compensation for their effort. However, disputes may arise when there are disagreements over these fees – be it their calculation, reasonability, or payment. Our experienced lawyers are adept at mediating and resolving such issues.

Our Walnut Creek based law office possesses significant and thorough understanding of the complexities involved with trust estate litigation. It indeed comprises a vast array of contested issues, among which are:

  • Undue Influence: This implies that the person who made the trust was pressurized or manipulated into making certain decisions or certain distributions in their trust. Compelling evidence that the testator was coerced or influenced can result in the invalidation of the trust.
  • Lack of Testamentary Capacity: Here, it is believed that the testator lacked the requisite mental competency while promulgating the trust. If it can be exhibited that the testator didn’t comprehend the magnitude of the estate, or didn’t realize who the potential beneficiaries ought to be, the trust could be found void.
  • Improper Execution: For a trust to be considered valid, it needs to adhere to specific legal requirements as stated by California law. If these requirements are violated, the trust can be contested.
  • Fraud: This occurs when a testator is tricked into signing a document, not realizing it’s a will or a trust. The party alleging fraud must prove that the deception had a direct influence on the distribution of the estate.

We also handle cases revolving around the removal of executors or administrators. Grounds for removal may include the executor acting against the best interest of the estate, failure to follow court orders, demonstrating they are unfit for the role, or any act of misconduct that jeopardizes the integrity of the estate. We will work with you to understanding your unique situation while striving to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Our office continues to stay informed about all changes and updates within the realm of trust estate litigation.

Trust Construction Litigation

Navigating the intricacies of estate litigation can often become a complex and emotionally challenging process. At Biggs Law Office A.P.C., we acknowledge the delicate nature of such disputes and aim to simplify the proceedings for our clients while ensuring they receive justice and a fair outcome.

Within the realm of estate litigation, frequently encountered disputes arise linked to the construction and interpretation of a trust or a will.

Trust estate litigation can involve a multitude of complex matters such as contentions by potential beneficiaries, disagreements regarding the division of assets, or conflicts about the validity of the trust.

A common issue that surfaces pertains to the precise construction and interpretation of a testament. A trust or a will with ambiguous language or unclear instructions can perpetuate conflict amidst concerned parties. Similarly, inconsistencies in the clauses or inadequate details can lead to confusion and disputes.

To address such matters, Californian law provides clear guiding principles. Courts aim to deduce the intention of the decedent while interpreting the trust. If the trust’s language is ambiguous or vague, the courts investigate the testator’s intended meaning by employing advanced interpretation techniques.

Evidence regarding the circumstances during the trust’s creation, the decedent’s behavior and conversations, and the beneficiaries involved can be used to discern the decedent’s intentions. Plaintiffs or defendants may furnish evidence to ascertain the intended meaning of words or clauses.

Our law office holds extensive knowledge about the process and complexities associated with trust estate litigation. We guide our clients through the labyrinth of legal proceedings, ensuring they comprehend each stage and can confidently make informed decisions. We strive to harmoniously resolve disputes and safeguard our clients’ rights with the utmost fervor and dedication.

Here are some tips for navigating trust estate litigation:

  • Be prepared for a long and complex process. Trust litigation can take time to resolve.
  • Gather as much documentation as possible. This may include the trust agreement, financial statements, and other evidence of the trustee’s actions.

Remember, estate litigation can be complicated and pursuing or defending a trust contest requires a law office well-versed in estate laws and litigation procedure. By congregating deep knowledge, courtroom experience, and client-focused approach, our office offers comprehensive assistance in trust estate litigation matters. Contact us today. Call us at (925) 933-1300. At Biggs Law Office, A.P.C.

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