Contesting a Trust


While numerous individuals have become aware of objecting to a will, a trust might also be objected to in specific circumstances. If a trust is successfully objected to, the trust can be modified or perhaps gotten rid of in some scenarios.

Legal Background

A trust is a legal file and arrangement in which a person names another individual to hold property on behalf of a 3rd person. The individual making the trust is called a grantor or settlor. The person whose job it is to secure the trust properties is the trustee, and the person gaining from the plan is the beneficiary. The grantor develops the terms for handling the trust property and income, and the trustee’s role is to satisfy these instructions. The trustee is thought about a fiduciary, owing the beneficiaries specific legal tasks.


Before a trust can be modified or ended, the person desiring this modification needs to have appropriate standing. In cases of trusts, the specific need to be a beneficiary to object to the trust. There are different requirements for individuals who desire to contest a will. There may likewise be a particular statute of limitations under state law or the Uniform Probate Code that restricts a trust contest to within a particular time period, such as three 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 surrender any part that he or she was entitled to if such a contest is made. However, some states have actually enacted laws that revoke such arrangements when there is cause to bring forth an action of this nature.

Factors Why a Trust May Be Contested

Revocable trusts can be customized by the grantor at any time. When the grantor dies, the trust is then thought about irreversible. There are a range of reasons that a trust might no longer be preferred by the recipients, consisting of:

Modified or Ended

Trust beneficiaries might allege that the settlor was unduly affected by someone to develop the trust in a particular way. Pressure or scams might likewise be alleged. Excessive influence alleges that a person who stands to gain from the trust pressured the settlor into signing the trust. This may happen because the person benefiting threatened the settlor, withheld needed resources or greatly controlled the settlor so that she or he would be separated from other member of the family. Scams can occur when a person signs the trust not knowing that the file was a trust. If such actions are discovered to be real, the court may end the whole trust.

Trust Does Not Show Settlor’s Wishes

In some scenarios, a settlor may have developed a trust but the existing truths avoid the trust from serving its initial function. This can happen when the recipients get little or no gain from the trust. The trust might cost more to administer than the recipients get. A trust might contain language to permit for the termination of a trust in specific scenarios, or a recipient might petition the court to snuff out it.

Trust Does Not Serve Its Function

In other situations, the language included in the trust may go through various interpretations by the beneficiaries and the trustee. The beneficiary may petition the court of probate to customize or end to provide 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. However, if the court finds that the language is uncertain, it will try to establish the settlor’s intent by taking other details into account, such as the personal history in between the grantor and the beneficiaries and other interactions. Then, the court will determine how the trust should be treated by utilizing the testator’s believed intent.

Trust Language Is Ambiguous

Individuals who want to object to a trust have the burden of showing the probate court why the trust must be modified or terminated. They might think about employing an attorney experienced with probate lawsuits to manage this complicated task. The probate attorney can discuss the individual’s rights and choices worrying bringing forth a petition to contest the trust.

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