Trust litigation is a rough time no matter who’s involved. It’s not the sort of thing undertaken lightly. After all, everyone is already grieving from the loss of a friend or loved one. The last thing anyone wants to do is deal with the legal system.
If you’re uncertain what trust litigation is or how it functions, don’t worry. The basic concept is simple.
What Is Trust Litigation
A trust is a legal agreement stating that a particular person or group is allowed to execute the last wishes of the deceased according to a legal will and testimony. Living wills are a well-known part of life and death, at least in the United States and other countries with similar estate laws.
Trust litigation is a lawsuit against the trustee, usually because others involved feel the trustee is not executing the will appropriately. From there, it’s fairly easy to understand why this particular form of litigation exists.
Reasons For Trust Litigation
When other beneficiaries feel the trustee is acting inappropriately, they may file suit. There are a number of reasons for this, some more pressing than others.
This is always difficult to navigate since “unreasonable” can be subjective. However, if time drags on and there are excuses rather than execution then it may be time to call a lawyer.
Changes have to be made on occasion, but usually only after all beneficiaries have agreed. If there’s a sudden change then you should ask questions. And if the change seems to favor the trustee over the other beneficiaries, then you should call a lawyer.
Sometimes assets must be sold off under market value. There are many assets which may be costly and time-consuming to maintain, and people often sell them at incredibly low prices just to be rid of them. But if the trustee seems to be selling an unusually high number of assets at these low rates, you may need a lawyer.
Ultimately, any time an issue between the trustee and the other beneficiaries can’t be resolved then trust litigation is the answer. The courts tend to try other solutions first, however. Mediation is often used, and it can work quite well.
Unfortunately, sometimes everything else fails and standing in front of a judge is the only option. If you find yourself in this situation, then call a lawyer. Many lawyers will offer a free consultation, and you can get a better idea of whether or not litigation is the right option.