Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

Your Orange County
Trust Litigation Attorneys

Our Orange County trust litigation lawyers focus on helping trustees, beneficiary, and heirs in the event there is a trust contest. Our Orange County Law firm focuses primarily on litigation disputes, where irrevocable trusts are in dispute based upon undue duress, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty, and other estate litigation matters.

Hess-Verdon & Associates are poised to help you where needed!

Bad Faith and Need to Contest
a Trust in California

What is Bad Faith in Managing a Trust

There are various reasons to contest a California trust, including what may be called “bad faith.” Now bad faith is a term that describes dishonest dealing, intentional fraudulent acts, misleading others as well as entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it.  

Contesting a Trust based on Bad Faith

If you are up against a trustee who you feel who has breached their fiduciary duty, then read on. It’s crucial to have all your facts straight and documents in order. You see, the trustee will use the estate’s funds to litigate any contest that comes their way. If they lose, they can be held responsible for paying back any losses the estate may have received. With that said, an expert counsel is crucial to ensure you are on the right side of the courts.

What is Your Current Option in a Possible Trust Dispute

If you are a beneficiary of a trust, receive expert counsel right away. Currently, Hess-Verdon offers a free no-obligation case review. No need to waste time and keep your peace of mind knowing you are doing your due diligence. Your options stem from legal Counsel. State your case to an experienced Hess-Verdon Trust attorney and receive the Counsel you need.

What Are Some Reasons to Contest a Trust

It seems there are many reasons to sue a trustee.  

Here is a list below:

  1. Inaction: Stated, not following up and leaving things undone.
  2. Lack of Cooperation:  Trustee vs. Co-trustee disputes and impairing the administration of the trust.
  3. Theft is stealing from a Trust: This can come in many forms, i.e., selling estate property is way below market value to themselves or a friend.
  4. Excessive expenditures:  Not managing the trust, misappropriation of trust assets.
  5. Undue Influence:  What is undue influence? A grantor/settlor/trustor lives with the trustee before passing, for example. During the time in which the trustor lived with the trustee, there was an amendment to the trust. Was the grantor in the right frame of mind to carry out the signing of the documents? Expert Counsel will help you determine this through the deposition process.

Even explicitly threatening you, the beneficiary through a no-contest clause or any means can justify an overview of the trust and estate administration process and the trustee’s removal.

Do I have Strong Grounds to Prove Bad Faith in the Trust Administration process?

In practice, the courts give considerable deference to the trustee’s written appointment, and courts are reluctant to remove the trustee. Is it possible? Yes, 100%, but must have substantial grounds in which you stand based on the California probate code. The bottom line is the courts want to remove a bad-actor trustee.  

Probate code 15642 states the following, and with Counsel can solidify your bad faith concern.

Article 3 resignation and removal of Trustees are as follows:


(a) A trustee may be removed per the trust instrument, by the court on its own motion, or the petition of a settlor, co-trustee, or beneficiary under Section 17200.

(b) The grounds for removal of a trustee by the court include the following:

(1) Where the trustee has committed a breach of trust.

(2) Where the trustee is insolvent or otherwise unfit to administer the trust.

(3) Where hostility or lack of cooperation among co-trustees impairs the administration of the trust.

(4) Where the trustee fails or declines to act.

(5) Where the trustee’s compensation is excessive under the circumstances.

There is more, but cutting to the chase is a prudent thing to do!


Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgeable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County is well-versed in estate planningtrust administration, and trust litigation

 Our viewpoint is the following: Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures to resolve the estate and trust-related matters successfully. Our knowledgeable and aggressive actions are necessary to ensure the trustor/grantor maintains their wishes on the administration of the trust.

Trustee & Co-Trustee Not Getting Along


Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

Contesting a Trust in California

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Hess-Verdon & Associates

stars 5 Bad Faith and Need to Contest a Trust in California?

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

stars 5 Bad Faith and Need to Contest a Trust in California?

“We’ve always felt comfortable sharing our concerns with Hess-Verdon & Associates and have felt confident that the job was well done and the concerns answered.”

Malou Cole

Client Since 2006

stars 5 Bad Faith and Need to Contest a Trust in California?

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

Trustee Removal


Are you a Trustee  or Executor where protection of the Grantor’s wishes are being challenged?

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Suing a Trustee for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Contesting a Trust in California for Breach

Can a Trustee be a beneficiary of a Trust

Trusts & Estates Planning Attorney

Past the reasonable “time period,” and Trustee has yet to make the required distributions?

Advantages | Disadvantages of a Trust
Trust (Types of Irrevocable Trusts)
Trust & Estate Planning in California

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