Make no mistake; trust matters commonly turn into litigation. While any kind of legal dispute can be upsetting, frustrating and time-consuming, disputes that involve shock, confusion, grief and other unpleasant emotions can be especially difficult to resolve. Poor handling of a trust or estate can cause further legal complications and — more importantly — irreparable damage to important relationships by severing family ties and destroying treasured sibling bonds.
Hiring an attorney to assist with trust-related matters can help to keep an already unfortunate situation from turning into an increasingly complicated or negative ordeal. In the event that a resolution cannot be achieved, the skills of an experienced trust litigation attorney are essential to protecting your best interests. Attorney Daniel Potucek has extensive experience handling trust disputes, and he works hard for his clients to get matters resolved as quickly as possible.
Dealing with a trust can quickly escalate into complex and highly emotional undertaking, particularly when significant assets are at stake. It can take a comprehensive understanding of the law, meticulous attention to detail and years of experience to protect the rights and best interests of all parties. A good attorney will help to navigate the intricate web of legal issues surrounding a trust, helping to determine the rights of a beneficiary while enforcing and assisting in the duties of the trustee. Whether you are a beneficiary questioning the motives or actions of a trustee, or a trustee who wishes to avoid or already faces accusations, your interests can be represented and protected with both skill and compassion.
Becoming a trustee is an important and serious role that can result in personal liability if not performed correctly. A trustee — as an individual or entity — is responsible for performing fiduciary duties on behalf of a trust’s beneficiaries and is expected to maintain an exemplary level of loyalty, honesty and prudence in all relevant proceedings. Accusations of a trustee’s failure to perform or mishandling of the trust often results in litigation, especially when substantial estates or sums of money are involved. Disputes regarding trust administration may include but are not limited to the following:
- Creditor claims
- Undue influence
- Diminished mental capacity
- Self dealing or excessive compensation for the trustee
- Failure to accurately account for assets prior to sale
- Failure to report all trust transactions to beneficiaries
- Failure to take annual accounting
- Payment to the wrong beneficiaries or incorrect payments
- Investments that are improper for the trust
- Assumption or interpretation in regards to trust provisions
- Trust fraud
Trustees facing accusations or seeking counsel on how to avoid litigation may wish to obtain instructions and directions from an experienced trust litigation attorney. An experienced attorney can prove to be a valuable resource in properly handling a trust.
Trust beneficiaries possess a large range of rights and are entitled to certain considerations, protections and assets. The entitlement to a periodic report from the trustee regarding all trust transactions over a predetermined length of time is one of the most important — and most commonly abused or neglected — rights of a beneficiary.
Any trustee failing to provide accurate information regarding trust business is not performing the duties expected of a trustee and may be held accountable. Also, beneficiaries of a trust may require the legal advocacy of a skilled attorney to ensure that a trustee cannot cause trust devaluation through negligence or mismanagement or unnecessarily lose assets to the claims of creditors.
Enforcing the rights and protecting the interests of trust beneficiaries requires a full understanding of the intricacies of a trust and thorough knowledge of complex trust and estate laws. The knowledge and skill of an experienced attorney can be crucial in proving trustee negligence and securing the rights and assets of a beneficiary.