Trusts are often properly recommended as a way to avoid probate proceedings (and much of the cost and delay probate entails). A main benefit of trusts is that, unlike wills, they are generally administered without probate court involvement. But administering a trust is far from hassle-free.
Trust administration is relatively simple when the persons who created the trust (the “grantor(s)”) are all alive and still administering the trust (as “trustee(s)”). But upon the death or incapacity of a grantor, the duties of a remaining or successor trustee can be very complicated. These duties, under the trust and state law, are very serious: a trustee who fails to properly perform them can be held personally liable for breach of fiduciary duty.
Successor trustee duties include (but are not limited to) the following:
Contact one of our trust administration attorneys to learn more about the trust administration process and how we can assist the trustee to ensure proper trust administration.
We have substantial experience in trust litigation, including representing trustees and beneficiaries. Trusts are often the subject of disputes, which can result in litigation. As in the case of an heir disappointed by the terms of a will, someone disappointed by the distribution provisions of a trust may contest its validity. In addition, beneficiaries may challenge a trustee’s conduct, on such grounds as improper management, failure to honor a trust’s terms, or failure to properly account to the beneficiaries.
Litigation over trusts can involve disputes over various issues, including:
Contact one of our trust litigation attorneys to discuss your claim involving a decedent's estate.