How Do I Sue a Trustee With an Orange County Trust Litigation Attorney?

Whether a trustee is being negligent or outright underhanded, working with an Orange County trust litigation attorney is essential to successfully sue the trustee, receive justice, and reverse any damage they may have caused to the trust. However, filing a lawsuit can be complicated. Failing to adhere to the process and file a petition within a specified time frame can disqualify you from bringing the trustee to justice.

Fortunately, at Gokal Law Group, we have decades upon decades of collective experience helping clients successfully sue trustees to protect their inheritance and preserve the integrity of the trust. Read our expert guide on how to sue a trustee.

How to Sue a Trustee

If you have decided that suing a trustee is the right move for you, it is important to understand how to navigate this process. Ultimately, your success during California trust litigation hinges on this kind of preparation. Here is how to sue a trustee:

Work With a California Trust Litigation Lawyer

The first step to suing a trustee is seeking out legal representation. With the help of a reputable attorney, you can determine if you have a case. In other words, this step is when you will receive an expert opinion on whether or not a lawsuit is a viable option.

Remember – this is a highly specialized field of law, so you need to work with an expert Orange County trust litigation attorney with ample experience.

“For the best outcome, it is important to work with an experienced trust litigator. There are plenty of adjacent niches, like estate planning, but you need and attorney that not only knows the law, but also knows litigation and the court,” said Nicholas D. Porrazzo, a trust litigation lawyer, and partner at Gokal Law Group with years of litigation experience in California probate courts. 

File a Petition

After determining you have a case, such as a breach of duty, then you must file a petition in court. Typically, you have three years from the date of the trustee’s transgression to file a petition. Still, the language in the trust document could reduce this timeframe to 180 days.

Most often, people use California Probate Code § 17200 to petition the court in these situations. But the code that applies best to your situation depends on your unique circumstances and case.

“Working with a professional Orange County trust litigation attorney is crucial from the very beginning because it ensures you pick the code that best applies to your case when you petition, which equates to a greater chance of success,” elaborated Nicholas. 

After you have filed your petition with the court, you will then work with your attorney to serve the trustee or their lawyer with it.

Receive the Judge’s Ruling at the Court Hearing

Finally, you and your Orange County trust litigation attorney may need to attend court hearings and/or trials where you present your case to the judge.

At this stage, the judge rules if your petition will move forward in court or if they need more information. At this juncture, you may also schedule a settlement conference or bring in an objective mediator for alternative dispute resolution.

If the judge grants your petition, litigation begins. You and your lawyer will gather evidence, prepare arguments, and then argue your case in court, where the judge will make a ruling.

Orange County Trust Litigation Attorneys

When it’s time to go to court and combat a negligent or nefarious trustee, it is imperative to enter litigation fully prepared. However, before you even set foot in the courtroom, you must adhere to specific requirements per California Probate Code for a judge to grant your petition. With a premier Orange County trust litigation attorney, you can rest assured that you will choose the right probate code with which to petition the court, present your case to court in a compelling way, and emerge with your desired outcome.

At Gokal Law Group, we are a vetted team of battle-tested probate experts. Call us at (949) 753-9100 or contact us to request a case evaluation and successfully pursue legal action.

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