Can a Trust be Invalidated?
So, can a trust be invalidated? Firstly, trusts are important legal arrangements. People enter into trusts where one party holds property for another party’s benefit. Because at least one person benefits, there will always be room for disputes. In these cases, the validity of the trust is sometimes investigated. The validity of the trust is crucial to the future of your beneficiaries.
This is because its validity can be the deciding factor in who has the rights to your trust.
Some situations can render a trust invalid. For example, you may be a trustor, trustee, or a beneficiary, and in each of these cases, it pays to know when a trust may be invalid. Fighting this case is difficult on both sides of the situation, as it is complex. However, this article hopes to clear up some of your questions about why trusts become invalid.
When Can Somebody Contest a Trust?
There are many situations where contesting a trust isn’t only possible but recommended. For example, imagine a trustor telling his children that they will receive most of his assets. Now imagine this trustor leaving everything to a previously unknown spouse. This is a clear example of a situation where there is a dispute in the trust. The former could indicate undue action on the new spouse’s behalf. This could result in a trust execution made without the full competency of the trustor.
In general, for a trust to become invalid, a problem must exist in its creation. This can happen for trusts made under duress or intimidation, those made through deceptive practices, and those made by individuals not mentally fit to make these decisions, among other possibilities. Trusts forged in any way are also subject to invalidation and revocation. These rulings can have a drastic effect on the financial situations of beneficiaries.
How to Invalidate a Trust
An individual can contest a trust by filing a petition in probate court. This petition must outline why the trust is invalid and present evidence to prove the claims. Witness testimony is also often a necessary component to successful proceedings. Most trusts have very stringent deadlines on how long you can file a contest. You must file your petition before this deadline, or you will miss your chance to invalidate the trust.
After filing the petition, the proceedings move to investigation and discovery. At this point, both sides will gather evidence to support their arguments. This information is traded with the other side as well. A good number of trust disputes also involve settlement negotiations known as mediation. A probate judge conducts this. Failing to reach an agreement will move the dispute to a trial, where a judge will decide the final verdict.
When Should I Call a Lawyer?
You should contact a lawyer the moment a trust dispute becomes a possibility. If you intend to dispute or invalidate a trust or suspect your trust may be contested, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Dowd Law has experts well versed in estate planning law, which is an especially complex area of practice. Your chances of success increase greatly by working with our litigation experts.