Grounds For Contesting A Trust In California
Knowing grounds for contesting a trust in California can be very helpful. When considering a trust in California, the grounds for contesting the trust become an area of legal dispute. In this article, we will help clarify and simplify important reasons for invalidating, disputing, voiding, and contesting trusts.
Generally, grounds for contesting a trust in California include fraud, undue influence, lack of capacity, mistake, insane delusion, forgery, bad acts, duress, misappropriation, interpretation, and interloper. The main reason why beneficiaries use grounds for contesting a trust is to contest distributions of the trust.
A trust can be contested due to fraud.
First, it may be argued that there was fraud involved in the trust. For example, there may have been some sort of wrongful deception or criminal deception. One of the caretakers or beneficiaries that were close or nearby to the deceased person (settler) may have deceived or manipulated to your now deceased loved one.
Undue influence can be ground to contest a trust.
Second, undue influence is when a beneficiary or other party used their position of power to influence your loved one’s trust. Not only has the person overpowered the settlor, but typically also negatively impacted the other beneficiaries.
Lack of capacity is ground to contest trust.
Third, the person making a trust must have a certain high level of mental capacity. Typically, for trusts, that level of capacity is referred to as “Contractual capacity.” If the person did not have this level of capacity, it may be a ground for contesting the trust.
Mistake can be reason to contest a trust.
Fourth, if the settlor executed the trust with the belief that the document was in fact something other than a trust, it may be a ground for contesting the trust. If you believe there was a mistake, speak to us about what you believe the mistake was.
Insane delusion is a reason to contest trust.
Fifth, if the Settlor believed facts that had no basis in reality that affected the trust, this can be considered an insane delusion. An insane delusion can be ground to invaliding a trust.
Forgery can invalidate a trust.
Sixth, if the Settlor’s signature was forged, then forgery can be strong reason to disputing the validity of the trust. Also, if the signatures of the witnesses were forged, then that also serves as a reason. There are many types of forgery, where someone else signed instead of the actual person signing.
Bad Acts can void a trust.
Seventh, other “bad acts,” such as bad acts of attorneys involved or trustee can potentially void a trust depending on how bad the acts were. It is important to discuss the facts and bad acts of each particular case to see if it might be a ground for disputing the trust.
Misappropriation can invalidate a trust.
Eighth, misappropriation and embezzlement and theft of funds of the trust, can invalidate a trust. Additionally, money belonging to the decedent that is supposed to be part of the trust can void the trust as well if misappropriated.
Interpretation or terms can void the trust.
Ninth, the actual terms used in the trust and the interpretation of those terms can both be a potential reason for contesting a trust. If there are suspect or suspicious terms or phrases written in the trust it may be a reason for disputing the trust.
Interloper can dispute a trust.
Tenth, a party who has no financial interest in the trust, that might have grounds for having a financial interest in the trust might interfere with the trust in some limited situations. Always speak with an attorney for a frree consultation.
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Speak with our law firm for a completely free consultation. We want to speak with you regarding what you are dealing with. If you believe that you have a possible legal right to contest a trust, call now (800) 400-5050