Seek Knowledgeable Legal Advice for Trust Administration

Oakland and surrounding area residents who become surviving trustees or successor trustees of a trust-based estate plan will greatly benefit from hiring a qualified attorney to help them with the administration of that trust agreement. An experienced attorney will help the trustee:

  • Understand and properly file the appropriate tax forms
  • Avoid incurring personal liability while performing their duties
  • Defend the trust against challenges by heirs and beneficiaries who feel they were not properly considered by the decedent
  • Draft and send proper notice to the heirs and beneficiaries of the trust in a manner that limits their time to challenge the trust agreement
  • Understand the terms of the trust and if necessary to petition the court to resolve any ambiguities
  • If necessary negotiate a solution with disgruntled heirs or beneficiaries
  • Confirm that all of the liabilities of the estate, including taxes, have been paid in full before final distribution of the trust assets.

Trust Disputes

When a trust lists multiple beneficiaries and a trustee to oversee the distribution of assets, disagreements can arise. Sometimes disputes are inevitable because of factors outside the estate plan, such as long-standing distrust or animosity among family members. If disagreements escalate, litigation is a possibility. Some common reasons for an estate to enter litigation include:

  • Disputes over legitimacy of the trust
  • Errors or omissions in the trust
  • Treatment of the decedent’s property as separate or community
  • Valuation of assets
  • Disputes over business succession
  • Acts of the Trustee

 

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