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How can you contest a trust?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Trusts

Many Californians know about contesting a will. However, what’s lesser known is that you can also contest a trust. Below are some reasons you might want to take this route.

Undue influence

If you believe that the grantor, the person who created the trust, was under undue influence, you can contest the trust. This involves an outside party getting involved and influencing the trust’s creator through fraud or deception. You might also suspect that the trust documents were forged. These are all good reasons for challenging trusts.

The grantor lacked capacity

Trusts must be created by individuals who have full mental capacity. This means they must understand why they established their trust and what is being used to fund it. As a result, a person with a diminished capacity due to dementia, Alzheimer’s or a mental disability at the time of the trust’s creation cannot create a legally-binding tool. In this situation, you can contest the trust.

Unhappy beneficiaries

If a beneficiary is unhappy with the terms of a trust, they might contest it. This can happen if the grantor had made assurances to a beneficiary but the terms included in the trust directly contradict them. It’s also possible for a person to contest a trust if they were left out of it when the grantor expressly created it for their benefit.

Lack of witnesses during creation or signing

Trusts can only be valid when they are created or signed in the presence of witnesses. If no one was present for either activity, the trust cannot be considered valid and there would be cause to contest it.

Trusts are valuable legal tools for protecting your beneficiaries and assets. However, they can be contested if problems exist.


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