How to Petition to Invalidate a Trust in California

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Petition to Invalidate Trust California

Invalidating a Trust is not a simple process.  Reasonable steps must be completed within the statutes of limitations.

A beneficiary will usually find counsel due to the complexity of the nature of contesting a trust. You will need to have a valid reason with supporting evidence before even attempting to petition the court.

Below are quick links to other questions others have asked.

California Petition to Remove Trustee

If you live in California, and you are considering a petition to remove the Trustee, you have to make sure you are on the right side of the courts. What does this mean? It means that as a beneficiary or heir, you understand the process of a Trust administration process, and you have allowed the Trustees to respond in a reasonable time frame. To petition to remove a Trustee must be based on a breach of fiduciary duty.

With that said, you also want to make sure you read the entire Trust document in full and keep an eye on what is called an “in terrorem” clause or “no contest” clause.

Steps to Invalidate a Trust

 

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Steps to Invalidate a Trust

If you are considering petitioning the court to invalidate a Trust in California, you should consider a few crucial points regarding the trust litigation process. Yes, in California, you can sue a trust as long as you are a beneficiary of the Trust, i.e., receive some benefit.  You will, however, need a trust litigation attorney

Once again, only a beneficiary can petition the courts that the Trust is invalid. To do so, you must comply with a set of standards “prior” to petition the courts, or you may look unreasonable to the courts. 

A beneficiary will usually find counsel due to the complexity of the nature of contesting a trust. You will need to have a valid reason with supporting evidence before even attempting to petition the court. A California Petition to remove trustee will be the course of action.

Now, what determines if a Trust is invalid? Well, first of all, one of the higher points of the pecking order is “undue influence.” Undue influence is where you believe your loved one was instructed by another beneficiary, for example, to change the Trust to their advantage, leaving you without your inheritance. 

Example of Possible Invalid Trust Scenario

Example of siblings contesting a trust: A brother and sister will receive a parent’s inheritance once they pass away. During that time, the sister lives with the parent to manage their checkbooks, finances, etc. While the parent was on hospice care, the Trust had significant changes done to it. You may be able to show that the Trust amendment made was not consistent with your parent’s wishes based on past events.

When can I contest a Trust in California?

You see, when the settlor/ grantor is alive, the Trust is “revocable,” meaning it can be changed anytime as long as the settlor/grantor is still living. Once the settlor/ grantor dies, then the trust instrument becomes irrevocable straight away, and no changes can be made to the Trust. It’s at this point where you need to begin gathering the evidence as there are statutes of limitations. At this time, a successor trustee enters into the picture to manage the estate.  

The successor trustee has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to keep abreast of all changes, including receiving a copy of the Trust. Note: There are many time limits. Therefore, consult an estate planning attorney for the best outcome.

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Serving Trust Litigation: Throughout the state of California

Serving Counties: Orange County, CA. , Los Angeles County, Riverside, CA., San Diego, CA.

Serving Cities Nearby: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Buena Park, Fullerton, Orange, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Garden Grove, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Fountain Valley, Dana Point, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, Placentia, Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza

 

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Steps to Invalidate a Trust

Here is a partial list of reasons to invalidate a Trust.

  • Incompetence and Undue Influence
  • All states require the trustor to be mentally competent
  • No undue influence
  • No Suffering from mental illness at the time of signing
  • Can include dementia
  • Substance abuse which calls into question their capacity to create a legal binding document.
  • Documentary defect Contest
  • Forgery
  • Violating Provisions
  • Trusts must be written or typed and signed by:
  • The maker of the will (trustor)
  • Needs two witnesses who were present at the signing.
  • Each witness must sign the Trust or the will
  • Multiple wills and Trusts
  • There are times when a Trustor was married and later divorced and has a Trust. Then, the trustor remarries and creates another Trust and takes into consideration his/her “blended family.” The question arises, which is the primary document, and this is the bone of contention. 

Takeaway: Many times, there is an “in Terrorem” clause, which states that anyone who contests the Trust can be eliminated from the Trust moving forward.

Here at Hess-Verdon, we counsel clients on various aspects of estate disputes. Such as investigating potential claims, evaluating the merits of bringing a claim, filing or defending a claim, and when necessary litigating a claim through trial or settlement.

With our expert team of trust litigators, in many instances, we can settle such proceedings without going to trial after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by the respective parties and the tax rules applicable.  

Rest assured, the Hess-Verdon team is here to help you. Unlike some other law firms, we are a full-service firm. Handling thousands of probate and trust litigation cases helps us know exactly steps are crucial for your situation.

Trustee Removal

Are you a Trustee or Beneficiary where protection of the Trustors wishes are being challenged and causing family disputes?

Develop strategies on preempting a Trust dispute and discover What You Need to Know About the Trustee Removal Process

Hess Verdon has a deep bench and knows both sides of the equation to remove or suspend a Trustee or to safeguard the Trustee from a frivolous legal process. Hess-Verdon top litigators will help you stay on track!

 

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Beneficiary is attacking me

Attacked by a beneficiary who objects to how you, a Trustee, or Administrator, is handling an estate?

Prevent Trustees from Making Some Common Mistakes. 

Duties | Delays | Choices | Distributions

Timing on each one is critical to avoid litigation

Hess-Verdon has over 30 years of dealing with Beneficiary and trustee disputes. Let us review your situation. You’ll be glad you did. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

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Contesting a Trust

 Are You Considering Contesting a Trust or the most recent amendment? Was there a capacity issue or undue influence?

Be Careful when contesting a trust and know the elements it takes to protect the trust assets. Reserve your rights before Statute of limitations happen!

Hess-Verdon works hard to resolve Trust and Estate issues and preserve the estate by minimizing costly litigation. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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(949) 706-7300

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Contesting a Trust - What You Must Know if Contesting a trust in california!

 Are You Considering Contesting a Trust or the most recent amendment? Was there a capacity issue or undue influence?

Be Careful when contesting a trust and know the elements it takes to protect the trust assets. Reserve your rights before Statute of limitations happen!

Hess-Verdon works hard to resolve Trust and Estate issues and preserve the estate by minimizing costly litigation. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

Contact Us Green How to Petition to Invalidate a Trust in California

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Choosing the Right Trust Estate Litigation Lawyer is Crucial

Searching for an Orange County Trust Litigation attorney?  Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgable 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, are well versed in estate planning, trust administration attorney duties, 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, our qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures with a view toward the successful resolution of Estateand trust-related matters.

Learn more about our Living Trust Attorneys.

Trust Dispute Lawyers

Trusts are very complex legal instruments.  When disputes arise based on trustee administration disagreements, a trust dispute lawyer can help mitigate possible mediation, arbitration or litigation.

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What Is Trust Litigation?

Trust litigation is where a Beneficiary or Trustee or even an heir of a Trust feel their legal rights are trampled upon and need legal counsel to represent them in court. Typically the trust litigation is between the Trustee vs. the Beneficiary/heir. Many issues can arise, and mostly due to transparency, i.e., the beneficiary feels the Trustee may be self-dealing. Self-dealing is where the Trustee puts their needs and wants before the Beneficiaries. Now, the Trustee knows they have the fiduciary duty to put everyone above their self-interest first and to comply with the wishes of the Trustor. 

Now, after legal discovery, both parties will be asked to do the following:

  • Mediate
  • Arbitrate
  • Litigate

Trust litigation is by far the most costly and can drain the estate assets. If you are a Trustee and or Beneficiary, best to keep communication open at all times with proper bookkeeping.  

Why Consider hiring Hess-Verdon trust litigation attorneys

We work efficiently to help individuals, families, fiduciaries, organization with the following:

  • Trustees
  • Beneficiaries
  • Individuals and families
  • Banks
  • Trust Companies
  • Charitable entities
  • Family Offices
  • Corporate Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Trustees
  • Business Owners

Here at Hess-Verdon, we counsel clients on various aspects of estate disputes. Such as investigating potential claims, evaluating the merits of bringing a claim, filing or defending a claim, and when necessary litigating a claim through trial or settlement.

With our expert team of trust litigators, in many instances, we can settle such proceedings without going to trial after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by the respective parties and the tax rules applicable.  

Rest assured, the Hess-Verdon team is here to help you. Unlike some other law firms, we are a full-service firm. Handling thousands of probate and trust litigation cases helps us know exactly steps are crucial for your case.

Visit us in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. If you feel you need a team of attorneys, paralegals, and a helpful, caring staff, then reach out today.

Schedule an appointment today. Our specialized team is ready to assist you.

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My Family is Suing me

Are you being sued by a family member over a Trust or Will?

From threats to harassment to emotional distress, many people’s knee-jerk reaction is to sue and has become increasingly common. 

There are many options to resolve a family dispute in court and out of court. 

With over 30 years, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits and dealing with family dynamics. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

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Trustee Delaying my Inheritance

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

Diagnose the stalling tactics from an uncooperative Trustee and UNCOVER Steps to Take to Get the Trustee to Distribute Your Inheritance.

Hess-Verdon, for over 30 years, has worked on both sides of the coin. Receive counsel on staying on the right side of the courts. Seeing thousands of problems facing Trustees and Beneficiaries has allowed us to assist and complete the wishes of the Trustor/Executor. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

  

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Trustee Deadlines

Up against or even missed a deadline? Know which ones are upcoming?

Shore up your fiduciary responsibilities 

Conflict of Interest | Distribution of Funds | Upcoming deadlines

And put yourself back on track and avoid a trustee removal petition

Time is ticking, and seeking guidance from a Hess-Verdon Attorney is your attorney source to know protect your family’s legacy. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

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(949) 706-7300

Changed Trust Before Death

Was a Trust changed while under the care of a brother, sister, or institution and possibly been influenced?

 Act fast and attain a strategy on resolving fraud, forgery, undue influence, while protecting your rights and staying on the right side of the court.

 Hess-Verdon & Associates helps seek proper legal advice and provides you with the sound direction you need to understand what constitutes an invalid Trust or amendment. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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We are here to help!

Emotions Can Run High in Disputes Between Family Members, Especially in Matters Involving Money.

Need a Second Opinion?

Are you feeling your attorney is not answering your questions? 

Up against a deadline | Going over Budget | Case Taking too Long 

These are just a few reasons why you need a second opinion.

Hess-Verdon has a deep bench experience and works with the courts. If you have questions that your attorney is not answering, or the litigation has taken unexpected twists and turns, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits for over 30 years. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

 

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stars 5 How to Petition to Invalidate a Trust in California

Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

Wade Shannon

Client Since 2014

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Our Trust Litigation Attorneys Fight to Protect Your Inheritance.

 

stars 5 How to Petition to Invalidate a Trust in California

Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

Wade Shannon

Client Since 2014

stars 5 How to Petition to Invalidate a Trust in California

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

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

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