Contesting a Trust in California

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Contesting a Trust in California

Can a Trust be Contested

Whether you are the Trustee, Beneficiary, or Heir of a Living Trust, the question is, “can a Trust be contested?” The quick answer is, “Yes, a trust can be contested!” When contesting a trust, i.e., disputing a Trust, voiding a Trust, invalidating a Trust, you will need to consider how the Trust is invalid and a trust litigation attorney will be invaluable. Is the Trust invalid due to state trust laws, undue duress, or forgery? When you are disputing a Trust, you are seeking to change the inheritance, Bequest, gift, or the distribution per the Trust agreement.

Contesting a LIving Trust California

 

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How to Contest a Trust in California

Now, as a brush-up, there are different types of Trusts, and they fall into two kinds of categories. 

The categories are the following:

  1. Revocable Trusts
  2. Irrevocable Trusts 

Both categories of Trusts are open to trust contest. 

You will have to file a lawsuit in the probate court (also called venue) of the state that has jurisdiction over the Trust. Note: Once the grantor / Trustor dies, all trusts are considered “irrevocable.”

When you file your lawsuit, the probate court will determine the following:

  1. Do you have the standing to sue, i.e., you have some vested interest in the Trust and outcome
  2. You have a legal argument that supports your trust contest. 

In this article, we here at Hess-Verdon & Associates have put together information that will help guide you to the right decision before expending valuable time and effort. If you have one or more of the following possible reasons to contest, we would suggest contacting our firm and ask for a 1-hour free consultation. You will receive an upfront counsel and give you a percentage of outcomes based on your viewpoint. Learn about us here and why we are the choice for trust contests.

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.

What are the reasons to contest a trust?

We will layout the ideas here and how you must prove your challenge to the Trust. 

Reasons to Contest 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. 

Not a Trust Contest, its the administration of the Trust. (will not trigger a no-contest)

  • Engaging in corrupt acts, misappropriating, or wasting trust funds.
  • Failing to make required distributions
  • Failing to account to the beneficiaries
1st Takeaway: There is a window of 120 days in which an objection must be filed IF the Trust has already been admitted to probate. 

Once the Trustee gives notice to the beneficiary’s via the Notice of Irrevocability or Notice of Trust Administration sent via mail notice, you have 120 days under probate code section 16061.7 to act.

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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 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

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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 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Hess-Verdon Team of attorneys

See our Successful Reviews!

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“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 What You Must Know if Contesting 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

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Contesting a Trust in California

2nd Takeaway: There is a window of 120 days in which an objection must be filed IF the Trust has already been admitted to probate. Once the Trustee gives notice to the beneficiary’s via the Notice of Irrevocability or Notice of Trust Administration sent via mail notice, you have 120 days under probate code section 16061.7 to act.

3rd takeaway: There is an extension possible if the beneficiary requests a copy of the Trust document after receiving the initial notice.

4th Takeaway: If you are a beneficiary, and you fail to file a Trust contest within the 120 days, then you will forever be barred from contesting the Trust in the future.

Note: If you are the Trustee, and fail to give the statutory notice under section 16061.7 to the beneficiaries, the statute of limitations remains open indefinitely. 

Our stance: This is a very crucial topic, and a competent estate planning attorney will need to review all aspects. Ensure your estate planning attorney works closely with probate litigation matters.

Learn about Hess-Verdon. Located in Fashion Island at 620 Newport Center Dr. Newport Beach, CA. 92660.

Undue Influence - The Impact of Elder Abuse and the family.

 

Do you feel a family member has been unfairly taken advantage of? Has the Trust been changed? Are they getting the proper care?

Incapacity | Caregiver Statute | Elder Abuse | 

These are just a few types of undue influence cases that we see in California.

With the emergence of elder abuse, Hess-Verdon has protected families throughout the state of California. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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Hess-Verdon & Associates will Guide You through the Trust Litigation Process!

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, 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.

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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 believe you need a team of attorneys, paralegals, and a helpful, caring staff, then read on.

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

Call 1-888-318-4430

What Should You Collect Immediately to determine if you have a litigation case? (Trust Essentials)

You can contest a trust for many of the same reasons as a Will. Trusts do not “eliminate taxes,” but it is possible to minimize your estate tax liability through estate planning. We often update our website with the state-of-the-art strategies that are effective for both individuals and families, as well as business owners or those with combined families.

When it comes to a living trust, when we meet with clients, we will explore some estate planning fundamentals that will aid you in making the right decision.

We will discuss trust disputes as well and how to avoid them, be it from the beneficiary perspective and trustee (s)’ perspective and the steps for both parties.

So, what role of the estate plan are you representing? Are you the Trustee or Beneficiary?

Let’s go over both roles and the expectations of both and answer some legal questions that may arise.

Do you know: Do you know what causes litigation typically?

Well, family dynamics, outdated provisions in your trust, and poor behavior of the people involved in the trust administration process is usually a catalyst for trust litigation.

Do you know: Hess-Verdon & Associates, PLC “IS” the law firm that people go to for help in resolving all types of trust disputes!

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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(949) 706-7300

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.

Contact Us Green What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

 or Call Now

(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.

 

Contact Us Green What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Elder Abuse

Has a family member has been subjected to emotional, physical, and financial abuse?

Whether it be a nursing home, or in their own home, they need to be protected.

Abandonment | Medical Abuse | Self-Neglect | Violation of Rights

From the evidence of medical experts to testimony of witnesses, Hess-Verdon & Associates will listen and guide you through this complicated legal arena. Understand your rights today! Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

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.

 

Contact Us Green What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

You found the right team. See our Successful Reviews!

stars 5 What You Must Know if Contesting 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 What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

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

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

stars 5 What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

“Outstanding expertise and client support”

Suzanne Casey

Client Since 2018

stars 5 What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

“Hess-Verdon is very professional and knowledgeable on corporate law, that can help with estate planning matters.”

Roy Trachsel

Client Since 1995

There’s a no-contest clause in the Trust. Is it Contestable? (Terrorem Clauses)

Our suggestion, contact an estate planning attorney as contesting the Trust could cut you off from your inheritance. 

What are some common trust disputes: 

When we meet with clients, we will discuss Trust disputes as well and how to avoid them. Our team of attorneys will cover the beneficiary perspective and Trustee(s)’ aspect and the steps for both parties.

A Person may Bring a Cause of Action for the Following Reasons:

  • Trust Contests
  • Disputes involving interpretation of sophisticated estate plans
  • Disputes in Probate Court
  • Discussions regarding Trust Administration
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims and Ethical Concerns
  • Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse Claims
  • Business and Asset Valuation Disputes
  • Contested Conservatorships
  • Professional negligence and breach of duty defense for fiduciaries;
  • Petitions to include omitted assets into the trust (Heggstad Petitions);
  • Probate Code § 11700 proceedings to determine inheritance rights;
  • Property and entitlement disputes;
  • Recovery of lost, excluded, and disputed property (Probate Code § 850).
  • Trust Accounting disputes
  • Kinship proceedings
  • Surviving spouse’s right of election
  • Fiduciary litigation and removal proceedings

Trustee & Beneficiary Not Getting Along

 Disputes arising from the trust administration process? Transparency being questioned? Are you not receiving responses? Are you not getting timely updates? Feeling your rights are being violated?

Trustee Removal Petition Pending | Trust Accounting Issues | Delaying Inheritance | 

Are just a few of the reasons that create trust litigation.

Hess-Verdon knows the specific ways to get the Trust process back on track while preserving the Trust asset. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

  

Contact Us Green What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Have Your Case Reviewed Today

Call 888-318-4430

Not Getting an Accounting

Entitled to an accounting? Not receiving reasonable information from the Trustee/Executor?

Ease your mind and gain peace by receiving answers on accounting timeframes and Trustee duties. Keep tuned-in to the estate matters and know when to litigate if the trustee fails and violates their fiduciary duty.

Hess-Verdon has a deep bench and works with the courts to compel the Trustee to prepare proper accounting. Learn what crucial deadlines are on the horizon and receive appropriate legal counsel. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

  

Contact Us Green What You Must Know if Contesting a Trust in California!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

advanced Trust & Estates, Business and Real Estate Litigation Attorneys

Schedule an Appointment Today. 
The Hess-Verdon Team is Ready to Help You!

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Jillyn Hess-Verdon

Jillyn Hess-Verdon

Managing Partner

R. Kurt Ketchum

R. Kurt Ketchum

Associate Attorney

David Crumpton

David Crumpton

Associate Attorney

Stacy L. Olsen

stacy l. Olsen

Associate Attorney