Trust Litigation Vs. Probate Litigation

Best Trust Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

When you create a document that will make your end-of-life transition smoother, you think this will help both you and your family. You might work hard to ensure that your assets, finances, and property go to the right people and that if you fall ill before you die some can take care of their distribution. However, your will or trust may not be as clear as you think, and regardless of clarity, some people may still find issues with sections of these documents. When this occurs, it can cause probate or trust litigation. Are these the same thing? On the contrary, probate litigation and trust litigation are two entirely different processes that happen for different reasons. Below, you will find more information about probate and trust litigation.

What Is a Trust?

When a trustor creates a trust, they are creating a document that allows a third-party (also known as a trustee), to manage their assets on behalf of the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust. Beneficiaries typically gain access to the assets in a trust quicker than they would through a will. It allows the trustor to still maintain control over their assets while they are alive, and it can potentially skip the probate process after they pass away.

What Is Probate?

Probate, on the other hand, is the legal process that occurs when a person’s will goes to court. The court can authenticate this will and the executor can begin managing the different elements in the will. Each state has different regulations and requirements regarding the probate process so that someone settles the deceased’s bills and distributes his or her estate.

What Is Trust Litigation?

While a trust may seem clear-cut, there are any number of issues that can arise. Trust litigation occurs when someone (perhaps a trustee or a beneficiary) files a complaint with a court because they have found some issue with the trust. Trust litigation might occur because:

  • There are disputes among the beneficiaries of the trust regarding the distribution of assets.
  • A beneficiary or trustee alleges someone coerced the trustor while they created the will.
  • A beneficiary or trustee alleges there was some type of fraud occurring when the trustor (or someone else) created the trust.

When this is the case, it is best to seek help from a trust litigation attorney for representation in court.

What Is Probate Litigation?

When there are disputes regarding a person’s living will, probate litigation can occur. While someone’s will can proceed smoothly through court uncontested, certain issues can arise. These are:

  • Someone challenging the validity of a person’s will.
  • Someone challenging the clarity or ambiguous terms in a will.
  • Seemingly unfair distribution of assets regarding second marriages, step-children, and siblings.

What Should You Do If You Have More Questions?

If you are still unsure of whether you need help regarding trust litigation or probate litigation, you can seek the help of the best trust lawyer Phoenix, AZ offers at Kamper Estrada, LLP today to help with your questions. This can be a very stressful and tense time for those involved, and having caring, hard-working attorneys on your side can make the process easier.