When someone creates a trust for the purposes of protecting their loved ones and ensuring a streamlined asset transfer, it can be frustrating to realize as a beneficiary that this process will be disrupted by trust litigation. Trust litigation refers to the many types of disputes that can emerge in the administration of a trust.
The disputes might center around the creation of the trust itself, such as claims that it was procured due to undue influence or that the terms do not meet state laws or it could be associated with a trustee’s performance in handling the assets inside the trust. No matter how trust litigation happens, both trustees and beneficiaries should retain Nebraska trust litigation lawyers to support them. As a trust litigation attorney in Nebraska can tell you, these cases are extremely complex and can delay the administration of benefits from a trust. In many cases, trust disputes require multiple related legal actions.
Countless issues can also arise during the litigation process which means it’s important to have an attorney who has a broad based experience and knowledge in trusts, estate planning, and probate law. One of the most common types of cases for trust litigation are those claims based on coercion, fraud or undue influence. It is illegal to force or trick someone into signing any estate planning documents including a trust. Accusations similar to this require witnesses and proof and can be very difficult to prove in court but these situations can also end with criminal allegations like elder abuse, fraud or larceny.
Forgery is another common example of a reason that someone might challenge a trust. A trust, however, is usually created with the support of an estate planning attorney, which means that someone who is alleging it is not a valid document or tool will need to have strong evidence indicating their reasoning for this. Showing that someone was not in the appropriate testamentary capacity to create this document can be very challenging. One of the leading reasons for trust litigation, and a primary reason to hire a trust litigation lawyer in Nebraska is due to a breach of trust by the fiduciary.
If the fiduciary does not properly manage funds, invests in things that benefit them personally but not the beneficiaries, does not communicate in an accurate or timely manner, co-mingles assets from the trust with their own, did not disclose a conflict of interest, or is involved in unethical accounting practices, retaining a trust litigation attorney can help to ensure that the trust is protected and executed based on the terms intended. Another heir can also challenge the basis of a trust. If you have recently learned that a relative has gotten a lawyer of their own and intends to enter into litigation that challenges the trust, you should consider getting a lawyer on your side to protect you.
You’ll want someone who advocates for your interests and has ample experience in estate planning and trust planning matters. The selection of an attorney is an important one because this person could represent you for a long period of time depending on the depth of the issues and whether or not they can be resolved outside of court. You want an attorney who is prepared to go into court if necessary but one who is willing to work things out in settlement negotiations where possible. For more information about what goes into trust litigation and why you need to educate yourself about it beforehand, schedule a time to meet with an attorney.