Trust Litigation

In Arizona, when a person sits down to create a trust, they do so with the intention of it positively impacting their estate planning. A trust is a legal entity that involves the creator of the trust, also known as the grantor, naming a trustee to managing the assets in the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The provisions of AZ Rev Stat § 14-7401 et seq. govern the administration of trusts in Arizona.

Unfortunately, disputes develop over the management or creation of a trust. As an Arizona trust litigation lawyer can tell you, many cases could end up in front of a judge when it comes to questions of validity over the trust or the actions taken by the trustee on behalf of those beneficiaries per the creator’s wishes.

These trust litigation cases are notoriously complex and often require an Arizona trust litigation attorney to navigate the complicated factors associated with resolving them. It is important to have someone with relevant experience to manage this process and ensure that all relevant aspects have been considered.

Hiring a trust litigation lawyer in Arizona who has been managing cases like this for many years can give you peace of mind no matter which party you are in this case. If you are concerned as a trust beneficiary that a trustee is acting inappropriately or illegally, you’ll want to have an attorney to represent your interests. Likewise a trustee who has named in the responsibility of administering the trust will also want to have their own legal representative and retaining a trust litigation attorney in Arizona should be the first step that any of these parties take once the case has escalated to the point of legal conflict.

Trust and will disputes often present complex factual and legal issues and require the skill, experience and knowledge of a dedicated lawyer to evaluate the case and to identify possible avenues for resolution. In some cases the right lawyer can make a big difference in how soon the case is resolved.

Why a Lawyer Helps With Complex Trust Claims

An attorney who has handled cases like this before can present honest appraisals of each person’s stake in the case and can advise when settlement or working outside of court is a better resolution. Where possible, it is always best to find an attorney who is committed to representing the interests of the person they have hired and someone who understands the benefits of resolving these cases outside of court through alternative dispute resolution like mediation. That being said, some trust litigation cases cannot be resolved outside of court and in that case, it is imperative to hire someone who has relevant litigation experience.

Providing individualized and personal service by getting to know the clients and their unique legal needs sets these parties up for success. Many beneficiaries or creditors who are having difficulties related to the interpretation of terms of a trust or its administration are not familiar with their rights and retaining an attorney can help clarify this.

Arizona Trust Litigation Issues

When a trust or probate dispute cannot be resolved through negotiated settlement, litigation may be required. Some of the most common issues can include:

  • Mistakes
  • Fraud
  • Trustee misconduct
  • Removal of trustees
  • Disputes over trust reformation
  • Claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Allegations of undue influence
  • Draftsmanship, such as those issues relating to problems with a trust because it was unclear, poorly written or has illegal provisions
  • Trustee accounting practices
  • Lack of testamentary capacity
  • Misappropriation of assets
  • Disputes with third parties, such as business associates or creditors

In all of these circumstances, the elevation of a case to the level of legal dispute can represent additional funds and time spent resolving things in court but the outcome of these cases can have significant impact for all involved parties and that is why it is recommended to retain an attorney who has extensive experience in this field who will sit down with you at the outset of your case and explain all possible issues.

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