Estate Planning Attorney
Establishing a trust can be a great way for a family member to feel relieved about what will happen to his or her assets after passing on. The creator (or trustor) typically writes the names of loved ones in his or her trust, along with instructions for who shall receive what portion of the estate after death. In the trust, the trustor has assigned a successor trustee to manage these assets once he or she is no longer here to do so. While this sounds like a reliable way to pass on a trustor’s legacy after death, sometimes problems arise. When issues do come up, a beneficiary may contest the trust in court, which is often called trust litigation.
An attorney can empathize with the pain you may be experiencing after realizing that perhaps your loved one’s wishes are not being carried out with respect and diligence. If you are a beneficiary that is unhappy with the way the successor trustee has handled the trust thus far, we recommend reaching out to an attorney right away for assistance.
Here in the article below, we have listed a few of the main reasons why a trust may be contested in court. Please read on for more information, and feel free to contact us for any questions or concerns you have.
Successor Trustee Not Providing Accounting Details
The appointed successor trustee has many duties to uphold. One of these responsibilities is to share accounting information with beneficiaries. The successor trustee must release information regarding accounting decisions whenever requested by a beneficiary. If beneficiaries do not submit a request to see these details, then the successor trustee shall send out a yearly account of how trust finances have been handled thus far. If these accounting obligations are not met, a beneficiary may file a lawsuit against the successor trustee.
Coercion of Trust Instructions or Improper Mental Capacity
A beneficiary may contest that the trustor who wrote the trust was not of sound mind or health when the document was created, and thus the instructions listed may not be reliable. Also, a beneficiary may file for trust litigation if it is believed that the trustor experienced coercion by another party in regards to what is written in the trust. Sadly, those of senior age or withering health may be taken advantage of by others prior to passing away.
Breach of Trust by Successor Trustee
The successor trustee must always make decisions in regards to the trust based on what is in the best interest of beneficiaries, and not oneself. The successor trustee has the duty to safeguard the trustor’s assets while abiding by the instructions listed in the trust. If the successor trustee acts with negligence, carelessness or for a personal benefit, a beneficiary may take legal action through trust litigation.
Please call a trust litigation lawyer Cherry Hill, NJ turns to immediately if you believe your loved one’s legacy has been mishandled, particularly by the successor trustee. They can help you seek justice for your loved one’s wishes through legal action. Do not wait for the successor trustee to make any more mistakes, reach out today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Klenk Law for their knowledge about estate planning and trust litigation.