Contesting a Trust

While numerous individuals have heard of contesting a will, a trust may likewise be contested in certain situations. If a trust is successfully objected to, the trust can be customized or even gotten rid of in some situations.

Legal Background

A trust is a legal document and plan in which a person names another individual to hold property on behalf of a third person. The person making the trust is called a grantor or settlor. The individual whose task it is to protect the trust assets is the trustee, and the person benefiting from the plan is the recipient. The grantor develops the terms for managing the trust property and earnings, and the trustee’s role is to satisfy these directions. The trustee is thought about a fiduciary, owing the recipients certain legal tasks.


Before a trust can be modified or ended, the person wanting this change needs to have correct standing. In cases of trusts, the private must be a beneficiary to object to the trust. There are different criteria for people who wish to object to a will. There might also be a specific statute of constraints under state law or the Uniform Probate Code that restricts a trust contest to within a specific time period, such as 3 years after the settlor’s death.


Some trusts consist of a provision that states that if a recipient contests the trust, that he or she will forfeit any part that he or she was entitled to if such a contest is made. Some states have enacted laws that invalidate such arrangements when there is cause to bring forth an action of this nature.

Factors Why a Trust May Be Objected To

Revocable trusts can be customized by the grantor at any time. However, when the grantor dies, the trust is then thought about irreversible. There are a variety of reasons why a trust might no longer be wanted by the beneficiaries, including:

Modified or Ended

Trust recipients might declare that the settlor was unduly affected by someone to create the trust in a particular manner. Pressure or scams might likewise be declared. Undue influence declares that a person who stands to benefit from the trust pressed the settlor into signing the trust. This may happen since the individual benefiting threatened the settlor, withheld required resources or greatly controlled the settlor so that he or she would be separated from other relative. Scams can occur when a person indications the trust not understanding that the document was a trust. If such actions are discovered to be true, the court may terminate the entire trust.

Trust Does Not Reflect Settlor’s Wishes

In some circumstances, a settlor might have established a trust but the current realities prevent the trust from serving its initial purpose. This can happen when the recipients get little or no benefit from the trust. The trust may cost more to administer than the recipients get. A trust may contain language to enable the termination of a rely on specific scenarios, or a recipient may petition the court to extinguish it.

Trust Does Not Serve Its Purpose

In other circumstances, the language consisted of in the trust may be subject to various analyses by the recipients and the trustee. The recipient might petition the court of probate to customize or end to supply a declaratory judgment of what the settlor’s intent was. If the court figures out that the language is clear, the trust will remain in its existing effect. If the court discovers that the language is unclear, it will attempt to ascertain the settlor’s intent by taking other info into account, such as the individual history in between the grantor and the recipients and other communications. The court will determine how the trust needs to be dealt with by utilizing the testator’s thought intent.

Trust Language Is Ambiguous

Individuals who desire to contest a trust have the concern of showing the probate court why the trust must be modified or terminated. They might consider working with an attorney experienced with probate litigation to handle this complicated task. The probate attorney can describe the person’s rights and options concerning coming up with a petition to object to the trust.

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