Trust Litigation Attorney in Albuquerque

Trusts are invaluable estate planning tools, as they allow individuals to pass on their estates without the hassle, cost or publicity that comes with traditional wills and the probate process. Because of this, they are becoming increasingly popular estate planning instruments. A rise in the use of trusts, however, also means a rise in trust disputes.

Like with will contents, trust contests can quickly become complex and emotionally heated. An experienced and objective litigator can help you see past your emotions and work toward the most efficient and satisfactory resolution possible. When possible, we strive to help beneficiaries resolve their differences through effective and respectful communication. However, when necessary, we are ready to put our nearly two decades of litigation experience to work for you.

Reasons for Trust Litigation

Trust disputes can arise for many of the same reasons that will contests arise — a beneficiary is dissatisfied with his or her inheritance, a loved one believes the testator created or altered the will under undue influence, a family member suspects that the trustee committed an abuse of power … At Walk-In Wills, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your trust dispute, regardless of the reason it arises. Two types of issues we commonly take to court are as follows:

  • Trust Contests: A trust contest arises when a beneficiary, disinherited or disadvantaged loved files a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate a trust or to challenge amendments to the trust. Trust contests typically arise for a two main reasons: Belief of undue influence or incapacity. Whatever the basis for the lawsuit, our legal team can help you establish your right to contest the estate planning document, gather evidence in support of your claims and fight your petition in court.
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty by a Trustee: Trustees have a legal duty to act in good faith and in the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries. Unfortunately — and whether by accident or intent — some trustees fail to comply with their fiduciary duties. This failure can leave the trustee exposed to a lawsuit brought by a beneficiary. Examples of a breach of fiduciary duty include the misappropriation of funds, failure to faithfully manage the assets of a trust and making distributions to beneficiaries that are not in accordance with the instructions of the trust. Our trust litigation attorneys have represented both beneficiaries and trustees in abuse of power claims, and we are prepared to help you as well.

Contesting a Trust in Albuquerque

Contesting a trust is much more difficult than contesting a will, which is a difficult process in and of itself. For one, a trust does not go through probate, which is a process in which the terms of the will are made public for all — beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries alike — to hear. Because it does not go through probate, many people who might otherwise contest the terms of the trust may not even know about its existence.

Second, many trusts contain “No contest” clauses. Though these clauses do not prevent people from filing trust dispute lawsuits, they do act as deterrents. This is because if a beneficiary were to file a no-contest clause, he or she would lose all stake in the inheritance, even if the contest were successful.

Finally, the grounds for contesting a trust are often difficult to prove. Proving fraud, undue influence, lack of capacity or failure to faithfully manage assets requires extensive and foolproof evidence that leaves no room for interpretation. Without such evidence, you may lose out on your inheritance for no real reason.

Retain the Help of an Experienced Trust Litigation Attorney

Litigating a trust is often a lengthy, complex and costly process. For these reasons, and for the fact that you want to ensure your loved one’s wishes are respected, you should not attempt to dispute a trust on your own. At Walk-In Wills, we have the knowledge and resources to advise you on your rights and options, and to help you take the steps necessary to obtain the best possible outcome.

For the guidance and representation, you need at this difficult time in your, call Walk-In Wills at (505) 903-7000 to schedule your free, one-hour consultation.

Your Lawyers for Life