Disputes About Trust Accountings
Trustees have a duty to account to the trust’s beneficiaries regarding the transactions and assets of the trustAn arrangement in which property interests are legally held by one person (the trustee) at the request of another (the settlor) for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary).. By statute, a trusteeA person who stands in a fiduciary relation to another, having been given legal title to someone else’s property for the benefit of a third party. is generally required to provide this accountingA financial statement of debits and credits, detailing the manner in which anexecutor, administrator, or trustee has performed their duties. each year, whenever there is a change in trustees, and at the termination of the trust. Trustees also have a duty to provide a beneficiaryA person for whom property is held, e.g., in a trust, or who is to receive something as a result of a legal instrument, e.g., a will or insurance policy., upon request by that beneficiary, any information relating to the administration of the trust which is relevant to the requesting beneficiaries’ interests in the trust. Sometimes, trustees overlook these obligations. Sometimes, beneficiaries seek to abuse their rights by harassing trustees with excessive requests. Either way, our team of experienced attorneys can help you.
We can also assist you with other concerns you may have regarding the administration of a trust, including complying with the terms of the trust, whether a course of action is an abuse of a trustee’s discretion, whether an outside concern is a conflict of interestAn existing or possible incompatibility between a fiduciary’s personal interests and their fiduciary duties. for a trustee, whether a course of action is a prudent way to manage the trust’s assets, and enforcing a trust’s legal claims against third parties.
Disputes About Ownership of Property
TitleThe legal document, such as a deed, which provides evidence of a person’s ownership interests in certain property. to property can often be imperfect or otherwise unclear. This can affect both real propertyLand and all things which are growing thereon, permanently attached thereto, or permanently erected thereon. Real property also includes easement rights. and items of personal property. A common area for dispute is when a settlorThe individual who creates a trust. of a trust neglected to formally transfer to their trust the title of specific property which they intended to transfer to their trust. Sometimes a settlor took the proper formal steps to transfer the title of specific property to their trust, but it is disputed whether the settlor owned the property in the first place. Trust litigationLitigation between the individuals who have interests of some kind in a trust, such as the trustee, the settlor, and the beneficiaries. involving property can include an almost endless array of issues, such as child or spousal support claims, creditor’s claims, adverse possession claims, and even eviction actions. Regardless of the property issue you are concerned about, our team of attorneys has a broad scope of experience to assist you.
Disputes About the Validity of a Trust
Sometimes, questions arise regarding the entire validity of a trust. Disputes may arise simply because the settlor failed to follow the proper formalities in creating the trust. Other disputes may be more serious, involving issues of duressA type of fraud in which force or threats of force are used to keep a person from acting according to their own free will., forgery, fraud, or undue influenceThe use of power or influence over a testator or settlor in such a way that it keeps them from acting according to their own free will. When a person is named as a beneficiary and actively participated in procuring the will or trust which names them as a beneficiary, a probate court may recognize a presumption of undue influence.. When these more serious issues arise, there will frequently be additional concerns about financial elder abuse because trusts are often created when the settlors are over 65 years old. We have experience assisting clients with financial elder abuse claims.
Contact Our Experienced Trust Litigation Team
Our experienced team of attorneys brings experience from across a wide spectrum of law which we can bring to bear to help you in your trust matter. We strive to provide effective, practical, and timely results. We aim to resolve issues before resorting to litigationLegal proceedings brought before a court to enforce a legal right., if at all possible, in order to save our clients money and to allow all the parties to move forward with their lives on amicable terms. However, when litigation becomes necessary, we will wield the sword of justice to protect your interests and defend your loved one’s legacy.
Every situation is unique, and it is best to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
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