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There are many issues that can arise during the trust litigation process. For example, disputes between a trustee or other fiduciary and beneficiaries are common. Thus, it is important to have an experienced Los Angeles trust litigation attorney on your side. He or she can help you resolve your problems in an efficient and cost-effective manner. You can also receive answers to your questions about California trust litigation.
At The Aslanian Law Firm, PC, we understand that the results of trust litigation can impact your life dramatically. Thus, attorney Greg Aslanian prides himself on protecting the financial well-being of his clients. Our law firm provides quality trust litigation services to individuals in the Greater Los Angeles area. We have answered the following list of frequently asked questions about California trust litigation. For more information, reach out to us for a free consultation.
California Trust Litigation Frequently Asked Questions
What Is California Trust Litigation?
Essentially, a trust is a legal arrangement where a trustor appoints a trustee to hold assets for a beneficiary. However, unlike a will, a trust becomes active as soon as you create it. Thus, it is common for disputes to occur between the parties involved in the trust.
Fortunately, there is a method for resolving these disputes. It is commonly referred to as California trust litigation. The main reasons for undergoing the trust litigation process include:
- The trustee not performing his or her duties under the trust
- The misappropriation of trust funds by the trustee
- Arguments about the interpretation of a trust
- Questions about the legitimacy of a trust formation
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Trust Lawsuit?
There is not a single statute of limitations that applies to all trust matters. There are different deadlines that apply to different claims. Additionally, these deadlines can change depending on the facts of your case.
For example, the statute of limitations for contesting a trust is 120 days after receiving notification from the trustee. This deadline is much less than the three years you have to sue a trustee for breach of trust.
Thus, you should consult with an attorney before making any decisions about filing deadlines. He or she can help you determine which statute of limitations applies to your specific case.
What Is a Breach of Trust?
A breach of trust is when a trustee violates the legal obligation that the trustee owes to a beneficiary. There are many ways that a breach of trust can occur, including:
- When the trustee acts in bad faith
- When the trustee acts negligently
- When the trustee violates a legal obligation even though done in good faith
How Do I Contest a Trust?
Contesting a trust occurs when there are concerns about the distribution provisions of a trust. For example, a named beneficiary may have concerns about what he or she will receive under the trust. The three main grounds for contesting a trust include:
- Fraud or undue influence
- Lack of capacity
- Legal provisions
To contest a trust in California, you must file a petition with the probate court. A California trust litigation attorney can help you draft a complaint. However, it is important to act fast. You only have 120 days to act after receiving notification from the trustee.
What Are Grounds for Disinheritance?
As a child or spouse, California law grants you certain rights when it comes to inheriting property or assets. However, a testator can choose to disinherit a child or spouse by removing them from the trust. In order to disinherit a spouse or child successfully, the testator must insert a clause that expressly disinherits the loved one. It may not be enough to simply omit them from the trust. The most common reasons a loved one may be disinherited from a trust include:
- Lack of a relationship
- The heir is well-situated financially
- The testator does not agree with the heir’s lifestyle
- The heir is considered too irresponsible
What Is a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?
A fiduciary is a person or entity that has a responsibility to act in a person’s best interest. For example, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the trust beneficiaries. Thus, a breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the trustee acts in the best interest of themselves or another party.
Do you believe that your trustee has breached his or her fiduciary duty? If so, then you should begin the California trust litigation process. An attorney can help you file a petition for the trustee’s removal and replacement. Additionally, you may have the option of recovering the losses that resulted from the breach of trust.
What Is Trustee Bad Faith?
A trustee must act with due regard for the rights of beneficiaries named in a trust. However, this does not always happen. If a trustee takes actions that do not promote the rights of a beneficiary, then this may constitute trustee bad faith.
Litigation for trustee bad faith can last for years or even decades. Thus, it is important to obtain experienced legal representation. Attorney Greg Aslanian has years of experience handling California trust litigation. He understands how to resolve disputes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
What Is Undue Influence?
Undue influence occurs when a person uses his or her position of power to exploit the trust and dependency of the trustor. This results in the trustor losing his or her ability to make decisions freely. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to undue influence. Often, the trustee is a family member or close friend. Thus, the trustee’s ability to influence the trustor could go unnoticed until the trust is administered.
However, it is expected that the trustee will have some degree of influence over the trustor. Thus, you will need evidence showing that the trustee’s level of influence meets the standard for undue influence. An attorney can help you conduct an investigation to find this evidence.
Our Los Angeles Trust Litigation Attorney Offers a Free Consultation
Is mismanagement, fraud or a family disagreement causing your trust dispute? If so, then you may need to enter California trust litigation. Attorney Greg Aslanian is no stranger to the problems that can arise from a trust dispute. In fact, he has achieved successful outcomes for many individuals in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
For a free consultation, call The Aslanian Law Firm, PC today at (626) 696-2001. You can also use our online contact page to send us a message. We look forward to reviewing your case and answering any further questions you may have.