Nevada residents use trusts as effective estate planning tools that allow them to exercise more control over their assets than wills provide. However, this doesn’t mean that trusts always work seamlessly.
If you are involved in a dispute over a trust or an inheritance, then you need an experienced attorney in your corner. Attorney Christy Brad Escobar has been helping people address legal issues, including trust and inheritance disputes, for more than 30 years. Call our Las Vegas office at 702-789-1422 to set up your consultation.
Trust contests are very common, especially because there are usually many different parties involved and large inheritances can be at stake. These disputes typically center on alleged mismanagement by the trustee or the validity of the trust.
When a trust is set up, the grantor assigns a trustee to manage the assets that are placed in the trust. Oftentimes, the grantor remains the trustee until he or she passes away or becomes incapacitated. At that time, a new trustee appointed by the grantor takes over.
A trustee must follow the instructions in the trust document and remember that the trust assets do not belong to the trustee. There are also certain duties and responsibilities that must be met, including investing trust assets prudently, keeping trust assets separate from his or her own assets, maintaining accurate records of trust accounts, and treating all beneficiaries fairly.
Trustee mismanagement is perhaps the most common cause of trust litigation. In these cases, which are growing more common, beneficiaries may allege that the trustee is misappropriating funds from the trust for his or her own use. This could include commingling trust assets with the trustee’s personal assets or using trust assets for personal spending.
Other examples of trustee mismanagement include failing to provide the correct amounts of trust assets or property or failing to invest or manage trust assets prudently.
In addition to representing beneficiaries who have been victimized by trustee mismanagement, we also represent trustees who have been accused of mismanaging trusts or otherwise violating their fiduciary duties. Through decades of experiences, we fully understand the legal rights of beneficiaries as well as the legal responsibilities of trustees, and we can put this knowledge to work for you.
In disputes questioning the validity of a trust, beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries may argue that the grantor did not have legal capacity to create the trust because he or she was not of sound mind. Alternatively, they may argue that the trust was influenced by fraud or duress, or the grantor was coerced or unduly influenced when the trust was created.
With the help of an experienced lawyer, beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries can ask the court to rule that the trust is void. If the grantor is still alive, he or she may be asked to create a new one. If the grantor has already passed, the court may have to interpret what the grantor would have wanted.
When a dispute involving a trust or inheritance arises, it’s important to begin working with our experienced lawyers right away to help prevent the situation from escalating. For guidance you can trust, contact Escobar & Associates Law Firm, Ltd., online or by calling 702-789-1422.