Orange County trust litigation involves a number of challenges, just like all litigation. To succeed, you must be prepared and act timely. When contesting a trust or suing a trustee, you have a strict time frame you have to act within. Failure to adhere to it can result in missing a chance to file a claim and receive justice.
At Gokal Law Group, we have decades of collective experience helping clients navigate probate courts and achieve their desired outcomes. Learn more about your statute of limitations when you want to sue a trustee or contest a trust in our blog.
The Statute of Limitations on Orange County Trust Litigation
If you have to contest a trust, taking your time and ensuring you are prepared can feel essential to success. But time is of the essence once the clock starts running. Still, this statute of limitations depends on what type of claim you are filing.
Generally, there are two different time frames you have to be aware of challenging a trust and suing a trustee. Here is what you need to know about the statute of limitations on California trust litigation.
When you are Contesting a Trust
If you are interested in challenging the validity of a trust, remember that you have to file your claim within 120 days of the date the trustee mailed the notification (called a ‘Notification by Trustee.’)
Trustees must provide one to beneficiaries per Probate Code § 16061.7. Among other things, this notice will include a statement about the 120-day limitation. Trustees must also send beneficiaries copies of the trust and any amendments to it.
If you don’t receive this notification, your time frame for Orange County trust litigation remains open, though you still must file your claim within a reasonable time.
“120 days can fly by, and failure to file your claim within that time frame means you can never recover inheritance losses. Even if you have a longer window because you never received this notice, determining what is a reasonable time frame for filing a claim can be complicated without the help of an attorney,” said Nicholas D. Porrazzo, a trust litigation lawyer, and partner at Gokal Law Group with years of experience in California probate courts.
When you are Suing the Trustee
In other cases, beneficiaries may want to file a claim against a trustee for mismanaging the trust, breaching their fiduciary duty, or refusing to distribute assets.
In these situations, beneficiaries have three years from the first date they had knowledge of the transgression to file for Orange County trust litigation per Probate Code § 16460. Still, there can sometimes be exceptions to this time frame.
“While you generally have three years to file a suit, trusts sometimes include language that allows the trustees to reduce that time frame to 180 days. But there’s a catch: the trustee must also mail you a written notification about this shortened time frame per California Probate Code. Listen – it is always better to be safe than sorry. Interpreting trust documents can be complicated, so working with a California trust litigation attorney is crucial when reviewing the trust language,” added Nicholas.
Premier Orange County Trust Litigation Lawyer
If you have determined that you have no other option but Orange County trust litigation, preparation is, of course, critical. From collecting evidence to gathering expert testimony, preparing for court is time and labor-intensive. But you have to file your claim within the statute of limitations. Fortunately, a premier trust litigation attorney will ensure you are prepared and adhere to all filing deadlines.
At Gokal Law Group, we are a vetted group of battle-tested trust and probate experts. Call us at (949) 753-9100 or contact us to request a case evaluation.