In California, a trust has a significant impact on people over several generations, which is why working with a trust litigation attorney in Orange County is imperative if a trustee or beneficiary has undermined its integrity. However, determining if you need to work with a California trust litigation lawyer can be difficult because this depends on your unique situation. At Gokal Law Group, we have several decades of combined litigation experience, and we have a proven track record of defending beneficiary rights and preserving and protecting trust. To understand when you need a probate attorney, read our blog.
When Do I Need A California Trust Litigation Attorney?
When there are disputes regarding the distribution of assets from a trust in California, this is often grounds for California trust litigation. Still, this encompasses countless situations that require consulting with a trust litigation lawyer.
Determining if you need an attorney depends on your unique circumstances. Here are common situations that offer insight into when you need a trust litigation attorney:
If the person who created the trust lacked the mental capacity to do so, this signals that you need a trust litigation attorney in Orange County.
“This is a common situation that requires working with a probate lawyer. For example, maybe the person who created the trust had dementia when they made or revised the trust. If they lack the mental capacity to be aware of their decisions, they lack the legal authority to make them,” elaborated Abbas K. Gokal, a partner and practicing California trust litigation lawyer at Gokal Law Group with decades of experience in probate courts.
Another sign that you need to work with a trust litigation attorney is when the person who created the trust was subjected to undue influence.
Undue influence can take different forms, but generally, when this happens, someone coerces, manipulates, pressures, or forces the trust creator to sign documents that did not reflect their intentions. Essentially, undue influence robs them of their free will.
“Someone came to us recently who presented a situation where one beneficiary intimidated the person who created the trust into giving them a bigger inheritance than the other beneficiaries. In many cases, such as this one, undue influence can often be tried as financial elder abuse, too,” added Abbas.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Another good way to determine when it’s time to work with a trust litigation attorney is by considering how well the trustee is doing their job.
Trustees have a legal responsibility to follow the directions outlined in the trust and act in the best interest of beneficiaries and the trust. If they don’t, this is considered a breach of fiduciary duty and grounds to work with a trust litigation lawyer in Orange County.
“Maybe the trustee is not being communicative. Or perhaps they are mismanaging funds, stealing from the trust, or even showing favoritism to certain beneficiaries. Several actions constitute a breach of this duty and are all grounds for trust litigation. Most importantly, however, this is just scratching the surface,” said Abbas.
Creating the Trust
Lastly, look at how the trust was created, and this could help you decide if you need a trust litigation attorney.
Firstly, you need to look at how the creator executed the document. To be legally binding, they must have written, signed, notarized, and had it witnessed. If any step of this process was missed, this can be grounds to invalidate it.
In more severe cases, when beneficiaries suspect fraud or forgery, this is also a situation that calls for the help of a trust litigation lawyer.
Premier California Trust Litigation Attorneys
Generally, if you live in Southern California and feel that a trustee is not doing their job or a trust was created under suspicious circumstances, consulting with an expert trust litigation attorney in Orange County is of the utmost importance.
At Gokal Law Group, our team of California trust litigation lawyers boasts unmatched expertise and decades of experience in probate court. Call us at (949) 753-9100, or contact us to request a case evaluation. You can trust us to protect your rights.