What happens when a trust is contested?
When someone creates a trust before they have died, the trust should name specific individuals as beneficiaries and the assets they will receive. However, the terms of a trust may be challenged in probate court by someone who believes the trust is not valid, particularly if they believe it violates state trust laws. If you believe your loved one’s trust is invalid for any reason, you may want to contact a trust lawyer in Dallas, TX. The professionals at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC have years of experience in trust litigation. It is important that your loved one’s true wishes are followed, and if you feel their trust was not what they intended, our team of trust lawyers may discuss your options with you.
To be able to contest a trust, you will have to be one of the beneficiaries of the trust or have to have inherited your loved one’s assets if they died without a trust. The Dallas, TX courts will consider either of those circumstances to have legal standing. It is not uncommon for a trust to include a clause that says any beneficiary who decides to contest the trust will not be able to obtain any inheritance listed for them in the trust (or be penalized in another way).
Reasons to Contest a Trust
In addition to you having legal standing, as listed above, you will need to have evidence of misconduct regarding the trust. The most common reasons a trust is contested are:
- Incapacity: Incapacity could be a reason to the contest the trust if the person who signed it was not mentally sound when creating their trust. The only time the court will take this into consideration is when evaluating the individual’s state of mind when they signed the trust. Their state of mind upon their death — well after they have signed the trust — is not a factor.
- Influence by another: The decedent’s trust could be contested if they were pressured into creating and signing a trust by someone who would benefit from it. There are many ways the deceased could have been pressured. This includes threats, not providing proper medication, or separation from other family members as a means of manipulation.
- Fraud: The trust may be considered invalid if the deceased made the trust based on an intentional misrepresentation or a false statement. For example, if the deceased did not know they were signing a trust at the time, the trust would be invalid. Another instance would be if when the deceased signed their trust, they believed they were providing for a certain beneficiary but in actuality the trust benefitted someone else.
When a trust is contested, the courts will investigate and the trust will be suspended until there has been a final decision regarding its validity. Most importantly, you will need to provide evidence as to why the trust is invalid. Once there is a reasonable amount of evidence provided to the courts, someone in support of the trust may provide evidence that the trust should not be contested.
Contact Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC
If you believe your loved one’s best interests are not being met, you may want to contact a trust lawyer Dallas, TX families trust. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we know how important your loved one’s last wishes are, and we work hard to help our clients handle trust creations and disputes.
For more information, contact Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC today for a consultation about your case.