Can a Beneficiary Challenge a Trust?

You’ve received the notice: you are a beneficiary to a trust. Yet, you have concerns about the trust and you aren’t sure that it accurately reflects the intent of the person who created it. If this situation applies to you then you may be wondering whether you have the right to challenge the trust and, just as importantly, whether you should do it.

You Can Challenge a Trust

California law allows beneficiaries to challenge trusts. According to the Superior Court of California, three common reasons why trusts are challenged by beneficiaries include:

  • A belief that the person who created the trust was coerced or pressured into creating or signing the trust.
  • A belief that the person who created the trust was not competent to do so at the time the trust was created.
  • A belief that someone who helped set up the trust, other than the individual whose trust it is, benefited from the trust.

However, before you take action to challenge the trust you should read the trust document carefully to make sure that you understand its terms and you should be aware of the potential consequences.

What Could Happen If You Challenge a Trust?

If you are a trust beneficiary and you challenge the trust then you may face significant consequences if you lose the legal challenge. Specifically, it is possible that you could lose your right to receive any of the trust property. Accordingly, it is important that you only challenge a trust if you have good cause to do so and sufficient evidence to support your claim.

There is important information that you need before you take any action to challenge the trust. If you need help deciding whether or not to challenge a trust or if you have questions about your rights then please contact us directly via this website and browse our related links before you take any action.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm