A trust litigation can be described as a civil lawsuit filed in Probate Court that includes a significant issue involving a trust or a trustee’s behavior.
The Trust Litigation Attorneys
The company’s trust litigation attorneys have handled hundreds of lawsuits covering all aspects of trust litigation including breach of fiduciary duty, disputed trust accountings, trust contests, petitions for instructions, trustee removal cases, and disputes between co-trustees. The company represents trustees accused of wrongdoing as well as beneficiaries when their trustee is incompetent, dishonest, or sometimes just refuses to act. By the time these disputes reach our office the litigation is often inevitable, the company typically tries to work things out with the other side before filing a petition in probate court. The company’s trust litigation attorneys, if a court case is necessary, draft the court filings, appear in court on your behalf, appear at mediation, conduct discovery, take depositions, and try the case.
What Does Trust Litigation Mean?
A trust litigation can be described as a civil lawsuit filed in Probate Court that includes a significant issue involving a trust or a trustee’s behavior. It contains many possible claims or causes of action, but in general, trust litigation falls into one of the five categories:
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Disputed Trust Accountings
- Trustee Removal
- Disputes between Co-Trustees
- Petitions for Instructions
Attorney’s Fee in Trust Litigation
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether the trust will pay their attorneys’ fees when the trust litigation attorneys meet with the new clients. It is possible when a beneficiary is litigating against a trustee but you should not count on it. It is not common for a beneficiary to recover their fees but there are a few scenarios under which a beneficiary may recover their attorneys’ fees but are relatively few. And when they do, it’s usually part of a negotiated settlement agreement. It is significantly more typical for trustees to have their lawyers’ charges paid out of trust funds. Including a lawyer, a trustee may use trust funds to hire professionals to help them administer a trust. The trustee often pays the lawyers using trust funds when a trustee is involved in a dispute with a beneficiary. The court may deny the trustee the use of trust funds, order the trustee to reimburse the trust for attorneys’ fees, or freeze trust accounts if the court determines that the trustee is really contesting to secure the trustee’s personal interests instead of the trust’s or is acting in lacking honesty.