Trust litigation involves an estate dispute amongst the trustees, or between the trustees and the beneficiaries, of a trust. Most of these disputes focus on the interpretation or handling of the trust.
Typical Trust Litigation Situations
One example would be someone receiving assets from a deceased relative or friend through an apparent gift or designation during the deceased’s lifetime. Often such lifetime transfers and designations have the effect of significantly depleting the estate available for distribution according to a will, which can upset the beneficiaries and lead to trust litigation. But upon closer examination, the transfers may have been made while the deceased was alive for ease of access by someone such as an attorney or informal caregiver to assist the deceased with paying bills and dealing with other activities of daily living.
Other situations that may give rise to trust litigation include joint tenancy agreements and breaches of trust. Joint tenancy involves the transfer of assets into joint names for estate planning purposes. Such transfers may have a presumption of law apply so that the asset is held in resulting trust for the benefit of the deceased’s estate, and not pass to the surviving joint owner. Breach of trust claims, commonly seen in the media, occur when a trustee violates his or her ‘fiduciary duty’ to the beneficiaries of a trust, resulting in a financial loss.
Estate Dispute Lawyers
In any of these circumstances, it is crucial to have an accomplished trust litigation lawyer on your side, one that is innately familiar with the complexities of estate law and is focused on serving your specific needs. At Hobbs Giroday, our lawyers have represented all sides in trust litigation issues: trustees, executors, beneficiaries and committees.
After gathering all pertinent information, our estate dispute lawyers add value by assessing merits and risks, taking protective interim measures and actively pursing actions to the end. We have developed a reputation for providing clear, honest judgment and solving complicated estate and trust issues in the most cost effective and practical way.
If you are in need of an experienced trust litigation lawyer, contact Hobbs Giroday.