Huntington Beach Trust Litigation Attorney

Huntington Beach Trust Litigation Attorney

Trust litigation most often happens in highly contentious family matters or when there are significant assets within the trust. Trust litigation can complicate an already difficult situation, creating further legal issues to deal with on top of the complex process of trust administration. Litigation over trusts could come from beneficiaries, heirs, trustees, or creditors. As a trustee, you need an effective attorney by your side if you are facing litigation. This can help lessen the complex legal tasks you need to handle and make a positive solution more likely in Huntington Beach, CA.

Upholding Client Rights Through Trust Litigation in Huntington Beach, CA

Trustee representation needs to be experienced, and carefully crafted to fit your individual needs. Kevin Rice, Attorneys at Law, have been representing clients in California for 25 years. We have the experience and expertise to represent you in any trust litigation scenario.

Litigation can add many complications to the already complex process of managing a trust. It can be especially difficult if you are managing the trust of a loved one you have lost. You need a clear and personalized strategy to protect your rights during litigation. At our firm, we aim to make the process as smooth as possible for you. We work with you to determine how we can reach the best possible solution while handling the complicated legal details.

What Is a Trust?

Trusts enable people to avoid the complex and often lengthy process of probate. There are several types of trusts, and each allows a person to pass their assets on to a beneficiary. This involves a trustee, who is a third party who takes care of the assets until they are passed to the beneficiaries. If a loved one dies without a will or other form of estate planning, estate litigation and probate are almost certainly required.

While probate must go through the process of proving a will and finding a third party to distribute assets, this is not necessary for trusts. The assets were not legally in the name of the person who created the trust, or trustor, when they passed. This helps their assets go more quickly to their beneficiaries, lowering the percentage of assets taken by the state. This allows the trustor to leave their entire estate to their loved ones while also providing more privacy than wills.

The Obligations of the Trustee

The trustee has a number of resources available to them to ensure the process of distributing and managing a trust goes as smoothly as possible. Mistakes can have serious legal and financial consequences. A trust attorney can help you safeguard yourself against mistakes. Trustees must have access to important documents and understand and abide by the requirements and outline of the trust. They must also perform many other important duties, including:

  • Managing all the assets
  • Distributing the assets
  • Representing the trust in court
  • Addressing creditor claims

What Is Trust Litigation?

If the trust, the trustee, or other related aspects are being disputed by certain parties, the courts will likely become involved. Trust litigation refers to any of the reasons why a trust may be brought into court, including the handling of the trust or the terms and validity of the trust. Common litigation situations include:

  • Undue Influence: This is the claim that someone, such as a friend, caregiver, or family member, exerted improper influence over the trustor as the trust was being created. This claim suggests that the influence leads to changes in the trust that are beneficial to them instead of other beneficiaries.
  • Lack of Capacity: This dispute involves the belief that the trustor did not have the necessary mental function or right mind to be creating the trust. This type of claim affects trusts more when the trustor is older.
  • Irresponsible Trustee: This is the claim that the trustee has either acted inappropriately according to their duties or that accounting mistakes have been made. In this case, litigation often aims to replace the trustee and seek compensation.
  • Fraud: This dispute suggests that the trustor was tricked into creating a trust for a beneficiary who has bad intent or lied to the trustor.
  • Validity: This is the claim that the trust has been somehow altered, someone has interfered, or the trust does not meet the necessary statutes. According to trust statutes, a trust must be in writing, clearly name the beneficiaries, and cannot be managed by someone who is both the sole trustee and sole beneficiary. These claims, if successful, would prove the trust invalid.
  • Fiduciary Duty: The trustee is meant to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Failure to do so may lead to litigation. Fiduciary duty may also refer to others who have the trust of beneficiaries to act in their best interests. These include attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, or insurance agents.
  • Family Disagreements: When beneficiaries or family members are arguing over the assets in a loved one’s trust, this may lead to litigation.

These disputes can lead to litigation, whether they are true concerns or false ones. Some may file litigation if they believe they should have been beneficiaries or if they did not receive the amount of assets they believed they deserved. Sometimes litigation against a trustee is a valid complaint about their failure of duty, but it can also be malicious or a misunderstanding. An attorney can help you fight for the best outcome in litigation.

Why Do I Need a Trust Litigation Attorney in Huntington Beach, CA?

Although it is technically possible to represent yourself through trust litigation, it is not advised. Juggling the demands of the court and the legal process, on top of your tasks as a trustee and your daily life, is almost impossible. Trust litigation is long, complicated, and exceptionally difficult for those not well-versed in trust and probate law. Any mistakes during the legal process can create huge setbacks over time and cost you money. A trust litigation attorney can help you with several aspects of disputed trusts, including:

  • Analyzing and preparing trust accounting
  • Representation during accounting disputes
  • Providing legal counsel and support to trustees
  • Advocating for your rights during property and asset disputes
  • Defending or challenging the legitimacy of the trust

Kevin Rice, Attorneys at Law: Your Trust Litigation Attorneys

A trust litigation attorney can help you with every step of the trust management process. They can also represent you and the trust if litigation is necessary. Contact Kevin Rice, Attorneys at Law, today for effective and experienced legal counsel.

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