We’ve talked in previous blog posts about will contests: when a will can be contested and how beneficiaries will be affected. However, wills are not the only documents that are involved in estate planning.
Many people choose to put some or all of their assets in trusts, which can avoid probate and are easily transferred to a trustee after the person has passed away. The trustee a trust is like a personal representative to a will. There are certain duties and responsibilities that a trustee has to perform to administer the trust after a person’s death.
Just because trusts assets are not probated does not mean they are safe from being contested.
Reasons to Contest a Trust
The reasons for contesting a trust are very similar to the reasons for contesting a will. They include:
Defective Document: The trust was not executed in accordance with the laws of the state of Florida.
Undue Influence Claim: The settlor of the trust may have not made the trust freely. Instead, the trust was the product of coercion or pressure from someone else.
Lack of capacity: The settlor of the trust did not have the required mental capacity to execute the trust.
Also, if the trustee(s) is not fulfilling their duties, they can be in breach of the trust and their role as trustee can be challenged.
Contesting a trust requires the filing of a lawsuit and a judge will adjudicate the matter. For more information on how to alter, contest, or terminate estate planning documents, contact Wintter Law for a consultation.