When Is Estate or Trust Litigation Necessary?
Probate and trust litigation are fostered by the basic forces of death, greed, familial hostility, and the success of medical technology in prolonging life beyond the patience of their heirs. Disputes regarding the legitimacy of the will or trust, the capacity of the testator or any other discrepancy in the management of the decedent’s estate can lead to probate or trust litigation. A will is intended to reflect the intentions of the decedent, but these intentions may be unclear at times. A trustee must follow the terms of the trust, but trustees sometimes act inappropriately. Disagreements may arise as to how and when the funds are to be disbursed. Trust litigation can also arise when trust funds are mismanaged by the successor trustee using the funds for personal gain or against the trust’s wishes.
Litigation involving trust and estate matters often involves an emotional element not present in most other legal disputes and often involve the element of vindication for perceived wrong that occurred during the decedent’s lifetime. Money sometimes can serve as a comfort in these disputes, but rarely is satisfactory. Litigation over wills and trusts, and elder abuse is complicated by the jurisdictional complexity of probate remedies and rules, the options of probate and civil jurisdiction, and the obstacles of the taxing authorities, restrictive deadlines, and ethical prohibitions.
If you would like a consultation to review your loved ones Will or Trust to ensure such that the requests of your loved ones are being fulfilled properly and ethically at their time of death. Contact us at Beyer, Pongratz & Rosen, a Professional Law Corporation, and bring the peace back into your life.