When trust disputes occur, it can be incredibly draining and stressful for all parties involved. The purpose of creating a trust is to set up and leave behind a legacy, providing for loved ones or a charitable organization after you pass away. When this does not happen as planned, or if trustees take advantage of their powers, it can have devastating consequences.
A Cedar Park trust litigation attorney can help you pursue justice when disputes arise involving trusts. Robbins Estate Law has years of experience assisting clients with resolving conflicts regarding inter vivos, special needs, charitable, and other types of trusts in Texas. Our team consists of masters of our craft, focusing on all aspects of estate planning, administration, and litigation. Contact us today.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a legal entity that can own and transfer property to others and enter into transactions–just like a person can. People often use trusts in estate planning to set aside assets for their loved ones, a charitable organization, or another cause.
Three parties are needed to create a trust under Texas law:
- A settlor (or grantor) is the person who creates the trust;
- The trustee carries out the instructions in the trust; and
- The beneficiary receives the benefits of the trust.
Often, the settlor names a successor trustee in case the primary trustee cannot or chooses not to perform their obligations under the trust. As the settlor, you can establish an inter vivos trust while you are alive or set up a testamentary trust in your will that becomes effective when you pass away.
Additionally, trusts can be revocable and irrevocable. Revocable trusts are those you can change during your lifetime. In contrast, you cannot easily alter irrevocable trusts once you create them.
The Basics of Texas Trust Lawsuits
There are important fundamentals about trust lawsuits that people should keep in mind. For example, Texas law limits who can bring a lawsuit. Likewise, you have restrictions on when you can begin litigation against another because of a trust.
Who Can File a Trust Lawsuit in Texas?
Under Texas law, an interested party may bring an action regarding the trust. For example, an interested party might be an heir who does not believe the trust is valid or a shareholder of the charitable organization that is a trust beneficiary. When filing a lawsuit involving a trust, it is essential to send notices to the trustee, beneficiaries, anyone receiving benefits from the trust, and, if applicable, the settlor. A trust attorney can help with this.
What Do You Need to Prove During Trust Litigation?
What you need to prove to have a valid claim depends on the circumstances leading to your grievance. For example, if you are an heir of the decedent (the person who died) and don’t think the trust is valid, you would need to prove that the trust lacks the legal elements required to create a trust. Alternatively, let’s say you are a beneficiary and are upset with how the trustee runs the trust. In that case, you must prove that the trustee has breached their fiduciary obligations to you or the beneficiaries.
How Long Do You Have to File a Trust Lawsuit?
Texas law imposes a deadline, called the statute of limitations, on when someone can file a lawsuit involving a trust. The deadline can range from two to four years, depending on the specific type of claim the person or organization is bringing. A trust litigation lawyer in Cedar Park can help you determine the applicable deadline in your case and help ensure you meet this requirement.
How Can a Cedar Park Trust Litigation Attorney Help?
A trust litigation attorney performs vital services to help individuals, organizations, and families understand and assert their legal rights during a trust dispute. Because many of these conflicts involve family and money, having an attorney serve as a mediator and guide can be vital to smoothly navigating the situation. Robbins Estate Law has helped dozens of individuals and families through these types of conflicts. The team understands what’s at stake and how to craft the appropriate legal strategy for success.
Gather Relevant Information
The trust litigation attorney can review the relevant trust documents, financial statements, and any other related records. They perform this vital service to understand the nature of the trust, its creation, and its operation. They use this information to develop a case strategy and perform targeted legal research to determine your legal options.
File a Lawsuit on Your Behalf
Juggling legal matters while handling your day-to-day obligations can be taxing. Further, tensions can be quite high when money and family are involved, creating more stress for you and your loved ones. A trust litigation attorney in Cedar Park, TX, helps alleviate this burden by acting as your advocate and taking care of the legal matters on your behalf. They can help you meet your filing deadline and represent you in court.
Contact a Cedar Park Trust Litigation Lawyer at Robbins Estate Law Today
Trust litigation can be a confusing and unfamiliar situation for most people. There is a lot at stake, and it’s essential to have and carry out an appropriate plan of action. A trust litigation lawyer helps with this process, taking over the legal matters so you can focus on other vital components of your life.
Our team solely focuses on estate planning, which includes trust creation, administration, and litigation. Throughout our years of practicing in this space, we have garnered the skills and knowledge needed to effectively assist clients who face trust disputes. Before joining the Robbins Estate Law team as an associate attorney, Lorenza Cigarroa gained valuable experience in domestic and international estate planning. She uses her background interacting with people from different cultures to help them effectively understand her clients’ perspectives. If you have questions about a trust dispute, contact our team today to schedule a consultation.