Practice Areas

Trust Litigation Lawyers in Orange County

Trusts are created to make your assets and property easier to manage and additionally serve as important estate planning documents for your family.  If something goes wrong in the future regarding your intent of the trust assets, either you or your beneficiaries have the ability to bring trust litigation in court to settle the matter.  An experienced probate and trust litigation attorney in Orange County can assist you in crafting a claim for trust litigation.

Trust Litigation

Wills and Trusts play an important role in estate planning and can provided financial relief to your family through mitigating court costs.  However, trusts and estates issues and disputes can quickly become complicated, especially when dealing with larger estates.  California has put laws in place to protect beneficiaries from any illegal actions taken by trustees and there are set tests in place to determine the trust’s true intent.

Trusts are often established prior to a trustor’s death to provide an alternative to wills and to avoid the cost of probate court.  However, the lack of court oversight can quickly lead to issues.  A trustee who is inexperienced or engages in misconduct may alter the intent of the trust.  Misconduct by a trustee includes the following:

  • Inaction
  • Theft of trust assets
  • Failure to account for trust assets
  • Failure to diversify (in limited situations)
  • Failure to make trust productive
  • Failure to distribute assets according to the trust

If a trustee engaged in any of the above behavior, a beneficiary or trustor may bring an action to either eject the trustee from their position or force them to account for any lost assets.  A trust may additionally be litigated based on many of the same issues that plague will contests, such as lack of capacity of the trustor, fraud, or undue influence on the trustor.

Additionally, in community property states such as California, issues may emerge when a trustor grants property into a trust without their spouse’s permission.  Since property acquired throughout the marriage is considered community property, both spouses must sign off on any transfer of the property, even to a trust.  The other spouse owns an interest in the property and may pursue trust litigation to recover their community property interest which was gifted through a trust.  Trust litigation is often a last resort for many disputes within the trust parties, and many people look to options like mediation and arbitration to resolve disputes.  An experienced attorney will be able to guide you on how to handle any ongoing disputes.

Boyd Law | Orange County, California Trust and Estate Attorneys

If you are in the process of drafting a trust document, contesting a trustee’s actions, or contesting a beneficiary’s actions, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Boyd Law.  Our attorneys have years of experience in handling probate and estate matters and additionally have a firm background in litigation proceedings.  Contact our Orange County office today for your initial free consultation.