As a trustee, your role in managing and overseeing an estate plan is essential. You are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the testator’s wishes are carried out, and their assets are protected. However, in some cases, trustees may face disputes and false allegations of undue influence, complicating matters for all parties involved.

Orange County Trust Litigation

by | Mar 25, 2023

Understanding Undue Influence

Undue influence arises when an individual manipulates or coerces another into making decisions that disproportionately benefit the influencer, often at the expense of the person being influenced. Undue influence can occur when a vulnerable individual, such as an older adult experiencing cognitive decline or a serious health issue, is taken advantage of by another person for personal gain.

In estate planning, allegations of undue influence often involve claims that the trustee or another party coerced the testator into creating or modifying a trust that favors the alleged influencer.

Strategies for Addressing Undue Influence Claims as a Trustee

When confronted with allegations of undue influence, trustees must take proactive measures to protect their reputation and the integrity of the trust:

Maintain thorough documentation: Ensure you have comprehensive records of all communications and decisions made during estate planning. Proper documentation can provide crucial evidence to refute any false claims.

Involve other professionals: Engage the services of experienced attorneys, financial advisors, and other professionals during the estate planning process. Their involvement can serve as an additional layer of protection and help establish the testator’s true intentions.

Encourage transparency: Foster open communication with all beneficiaries and keep them informed of any significant decisions or changes to the trust. Transparency can help prevent misunderstandings and alleviate suspicions.

Seek legal counsel: If you are accused of undue influence despite unfounded allegations, consult with an attorney experienced in trust and estate litigation to defend your position vigorously.

Resolving an undue influence claim can significantly impact the trust’s administration and the beneficiaries’ relationships. As a trustee, it is essential to remain focused and explore all available legal options to address such claims. For a more profound comprehension of this intricate matter and guidance on traversing the legal labyrinth, seek counsel from a seasoned attorney or delve into our website’s extensive resources.

Why choose Hess-Verdon & Associates


At Hess-Verdon & Associates, we understand the complexities and challenges of managing an estate as a trustee. With over 30 years of experience in handling trustee litigation and trust contests, our team is uniquely qualified to provide unparalleled legal support and guidance. Here are some reasons why choosing Hess-Verdon & Associates is the right decision for trustees facing litigation:

Extensive Experience: Our firm has a proven track record of successfully handling complex trust and estate litigation matters. Our trust attorneys have dealt with various types of disputes, such as alleged misappropriation of funds, lack of transparency, and more which has equipped us with the knowledge and expertise required to represent to protect you and the trustee.

Specialized Expertise: Hess-Verdon & Associates focuses on trust and estate law, ensuring our clients benefit from specialized legal counsel. Our attorneys are up-to-date on the latest legal developments of trust litigation concerning false allegations of undue influence and are well-versed in the nuances of that situation.

Personalized Approach: We understand that each client’s situation is unique and tailor our legal strategies to suit your specific needs and objectives. 

Comprehensive Representation: Our firm is committed to providing comprehensive representation throughout the litigation. We ensure you receive the best possible legal support, from analyzing the case’s merits and gathering evidence to advocating for your interests in negotiations and court proceedings.

Client-Centric Focus: At Hess-Verdon & Associates, our clients are our top priority. We pride ourselves on maintaining open communication and providing transparent, honest advice. 

Proven Results: Our firm has a strong track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients in trustee litigation matters. 

Trustees facing litigation or trust contests need a reliable, experienced legal team. Choosing Hess-Verdon & Associates ensures that you have the proper support to navigate the complexities of your case and protect your interests. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a successful resolution to your trustee litigation issues.