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Hess-Verdon & Associates


During these hard times, we know it’s vitally important to save time, money, peace of mind, and receive the highest of top quality counsel!

Hess-Verdon is one of the highest top-quality counsel that cares and fights for your legal needs.

Our managing partners have practiced law for over 30+ years. We have deep court experience, and after 1500+ clients throughout our tenure, you will receive in-depth knowledge in trust & estates, business, and real estate matters.
For a limited time, we are offering a free no-obligation case evaluation. Feel free to call, and our helpful staff will set you up with one of our specialized attorneys.

Our Guarantee: Courteous treatment with respect and professionalism with a commitment to delivering high quality, client-centered focus.

By Phone 1-888-318-4430

Trust Dispute Litigation –
Trust Dispute Litigation Law Firm



Trust dispute litigation comes in the form of Trustee and Co-Trustee conflicts, misappropriation of Trust funds by the Trustee, self-dealing, lack of transparency, incompetence, breach of fiduciary duty, and on and on. Trust disputes are a trying time. Most times, trust disputes are avoided with an expert estate planning attorney who focuses on advanced estate planning.

The good news is that there are protection devices in place for both the Trustee and Beneficiaries. When in a Trust dispute, better to resolve it early before the Trust is contested in probate court, which can be costly.


You are entitled as a beneficiary to receive information that the Successor Trustee is managing the Trust properly. You have the right to protect the assets the settlor/grantor has bequeathed to you. A beneficiary should also understand that there are timeframes the Trustee must adhere to, to ensure they keep on the right side of the courts. You will want to be up-to-date as to the progress of the trust administration process while offering ‘reasonable’ time for the Trustee to distribute the updates that you need to receive.

1st takeaway: As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee has the power to settle the estate, utilizing attorneys, appraisers, and other expert opinions to assist in resolving the estate to ensure no breach of their fiduciary duty. Within the Trustee duties, are ‘timeframes’ to act that typically range between 12-18 months based on whether properties must be sold, debts, tax implications, and so forth.

To ensure you are on the right side of the courts, contact Hess-Verdon & Associates, a Trust Litigation law firm, for a free complimentary consultation to know 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 dispute.
  3. Are you the Trustee and in need of counsel? Call: 1-888-318-4430

If you are facing the need to dispute a Trust, it is crucial to get a reliable “inheritance lawyer near me” counsel to protect your inheritance and fiduciary duty.

Trust Dispute Litigation Law Firm

About Hess-Verdon & Associates

Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the leading California estate planning law firms involved in litigation regarding wills, trusts, and estates. Estate dispute litigation is one of our primary focuses and accounts for much of our work in court, and our track record in litigation is both extensive and impressive. 

Our knowledgeable and aggressive courtroom representation is necessary to ensure family members, executors, trustees, beneficiaries, and others maintain the grantor’s wishes.

Learn more about our trust litigation team. 

Trustee, Co-Trustee Disputes

As a Trustor, it sounds fair to have all your children be part of the Trust Administration process, but you are setting them up for sibling rivalry and family disputes. The best practice is to base your Successor Trustee against a standard of conduct they have lived, such as financial management, credit score, patience, and many other characteristics. Why? Even the best of Trustees are challenged at some point in the Trust Administration process. Staying balanced, maintaining bookkeeping, make hard decisions, e.g., selling or buying assets, are all fundamental aspects of a Trustee.

When Trust disputes become litigation

Now, to sue a Trustee, you have to prove the Trustee breached their fiduciary duty. The fiduciary duty includes many possibilities, including the following:

  1. The Trustee is refusing to give an accounting to the beneficiaries.
  2. Did the Trustee mishandle the estate funds?
  3. The Trustee is not communicative and refusing to fulfill a beneficiary request for information
  4. Is the Trustee self-dealing? Are they putting their interest before the beneficiaries?

As a beneficiary, you automatically feel like you are in the dark, not necessarily because of the Trustee actions, but the Trust Administration process does have black-out periods where the Trustee may be dealing with creditors. There is legislation that states to be “reasonable” during these times. Now, you can’t sit idle if you know the Trustee is threatening to do an action contrary to the Trust vehicle and the Beneficiaries. There are time-tables you must abide; otherwise, you may lose your rights. Hess-Verdon attorneys are ready to assist.  

So, where are you in the Trust Administration process?  

How to Request an accounting of an estate

If you believe the Trustee of the family trust has mismanaged funds, assets, etc., you will need to consult an estate planning attorney who focuses primarily on trust and estate disputes.  

Here are some questions that a Hess-Verdon Attorney will ask you:

  • Do you have a copy of the Trust? Was it received within the last six months?
  • Have you requested bank records, asset valuations? Is everything written and dated?
  • Are there any in Terrorem clauses?
  • When was the Trust created?
  • Was there theft from the estate before inventory?
  • Was the grantor in the right mind when creating a Trust? Was there dementia when the Trust was created?
  • Are you receiving updates from the Trustee?
  • What makes you think there is Misappropriation of Trust funds?
  • The above questions are just a few questions a Hess-Verdon attorney will ask. You can take advantage of the current No Obligation, Free Consultation case review. Within an hour, you will know if you have any grounds to stand on.

We understand these are trying times, especially that the grantor has just passed away and then added fraudulent to the mix from the Trustee. If you are the Trustee and feel pressured to do the wrong thing that may hurt the Trust, seek counsel immediately.

Choosing the Right Trust Dispute Litigation Law Firm is Crucial

What is your case? Do you have first-hand knowledge of the breach of fiduciary duty?

One of the most common types of breaches is a misappropriation of funds. Misappropriation of Trust funds is similar to borrowing from the Trust, with intentions to pay it back. The Trust is not a piggy bank. Another form of embezzlement is the sudden disappearance of estate assets, like jewelry, art, etc.  

An interesting takeaway: The Trustee may say it was, “borrowing” and to re-characterize their misappropriation but on its face its embezzlement. If this is the case, and the Trustee believes they were not doing anything wrong as they were going to pay it back, in fact, they can expect to face severe civil and legal sanctions.

Other common forms of funds being misappropriated are the overcharge of legal services that are beyond the scope of the service’s actual cost. A reasonable charge, but blown-out with exorbitant expenses are what we discuss questionable actions the Trustee does.


1st Takeaway: There is a window of 120 days in which an objection must be filed. 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.

2nd takeaway: There is an extension possible if the beneficiary requests a copy of the Trust document after receiving the initial notice.

3rd Takeaway: If you are a beneficiary and fail to file a Trust contest within the 120 days, 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 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.


Searching for an Orange County Trust Dispute 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 is 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 an estate and trust-related matters.

Learn more about our Living Trust Attorneys.

Trustee & Co-Trustee Not Getting Along


Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

Contesting a Trust in California

California Business Litigation

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Hess-Verdon & Associates

Hess-Verdon & Associates PLC

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