A lot has been said about the complexity of contesting a trust in California, and the guidance of an expert California trust litigation lawyer simplifies this process so you enter the courtroom feeling like you know the litigation process like the back of your hand. Success, ultimately, rests on understanding the process, filing within the necessary timeframe, and working with a trust contest lawyer to prepare and strategize.
At Gokal Law Group, our team is composed of the preeminent trust attorneys in Southern California. With decades of experience, they are vetted trust and probate specialists with a verifiable track record of success in probate court. Read our blog to learn how to contest a trust with the help of a premier trust litigation attorney:
A California Trust Litigation Guide: How to Contest a Trust
Let’s dive into how to dispute a trust by examining who can contest one, how long one has to contest one, and the process required to contest one:
Who Can Contest a Trust in California?
If you are considering contesting a trust in California, first determine if you are in a position to contest it. Only beneficiaries and heirs can contest a trust.
You also must be able to prove the person who created this document lacked the capacity to do so or that they were under undue influence from someone who benefited disproportionately from that influence.
Only a premier California trust litigation lawyer can assess the facts of your case and determine if you are in a position to not only contest this instrument but successfully contest it, which is as close to having a crystal ball telling the future as you can get.
How Long Do I Have to Contest a Trust in California?
Understanding how to contest a trust is just the beginning. There is a limited window for people considering contesting a trust in California. Failure to file your contest within this window bars you from pursuing your claim.
Per California Probate Code section 16061.7, beneficiaries must receive a Notice of Irrevocability or Notice of Trust Administration and have 120 days from the date the notice is mailed to consult a trust contest lawyer and dispute the trust.
How to Contest a Trust in California
First and foremost, when wondering how to contest a trust, always find and work with a California trust litigation lawyer with extensive experience in California probate. This individual will drive your success in court and determine if you have a viable case.
If you have a viable case, ensure you file your contest in a timely fashion. Then, you will work with your trust contest lawyer to outline the legal grounds for challenging the instrument and gather and provide supporting evidence.
Afterward, you will work with your trust litigation attorney to investigate and evaluate sources of additional information for your case, including witnesses (ideally experts) who can provide crucial testimony to obtain a favorable ruling.
“This is arguably the most important stage and entails things like gathering medical records revealing impairments like dementia or Alzheimer’s before the creator made the trust,” explained Abbas K. Gokal, a partner and practicing trust litigation attorney at Gokal Law Group with decades of experience challenging trusts.
Moreover, no-contest clauses are unique to contesting a trust in California. These clauses prohibit trust contests unless the contesting party has “probable cause.”
California Trust Litigation Lawyers For Trust Contests
Learning how to contest a trust isn’t even half the battle; it’s when you first declare war and prepare to conquer the courtroom and receive the justice you deserve. When contesting a trust in California, working with a premier trust contest lawyer is imperative. Fortunately, with Gokal Law Group by your side, you can rest assured that you have a winning strategy, unrivaled resources, and limitless expertise in California trust litigation in your arsenal.
To contest a trust, call us at (949) 753-9100 or contact us to request a case evaluation by an unrivaled trust litigation attorney.