Understanding a Trust
A trust is a legal document that details where and to whom finances, property, and other assets are to be bequeathed to the beneficiaries/heirs of said trust. A trust is not only meant for wealthy persons, as is the common misconception, but for everyone from all walks of life.
Trusts do need an attorney to establish, and all attorneys involve payment for this. While this seems like a steep investment, the advantages outweigh the costs greatly. It is for this reason that many people in Roseville choose to establish trusts instead of enacting wills, so their property and assets transmit automatically to their beneficiaries. While less commonplace these days, people do still choose, instead of a trust, a Last Will and Testament upon their death. It is entirely possible to have a trust and a Last Will and Testament at the same time, but they are not the same document; each has unique purposes outside granting holdings and capital to heirs/trustees.
The Differences Between Trusts and Wills
Both trusts and wills are vessels to ensure your capital, holdings, property, etc., are bequeathed or passed to the person or people you stipulate; the difference of these documents is in two important aspects: enactment and probate court. A Last Will and Testament only becomes effective upon the enactor’s death, whereas a trust is active as soon as it is established, which is why sometimes a trust is referred to as a “living trust,” but it is still essentially the same thing. Furthermore, a will must legally go through a probate court process and can be argued against there; this is not true of a trust. Probate court is usually a long process requiring court payments, taxes, and other costs.
Unfortunately, not all trusts are perfect, and sometimes a trust litigation attorney needs to be contacted. While your attorney will go over these things with you beforehand, it is essential to have a baseline knowledge before going into the trust litigation process. These circumstances that warrant dispute are:
Legal Authority of the Executor Is Non-Existent
In these instances, the entirety of the trust can be in question. Specifically, this means the executor/creator of the trust is diminished mentally and cannot legally establish a trust to begin with. One must have significant proof of mental degradation at the time of enacting the trust to win in court. To assemble that proof and make sure your interests and evidence are heard properly, an attorney representing you in court is of great significance.
Unfortunately, sometimes the creator of the trust has been threatened, coerced, or otherwise tricked into creating a trust or adjusting the contents of the trust in a way beneficial to a specific person or persons.
This coercion is also considered a form of financial elder abuse and can carry criminal as well as financial penalties if proven in court. Much like any contestation of a trust for any reason, there needs to be substantial proof. Having legal representation to put forward your case in this instance is crucial.