TRUST AND WILLS DISPUTES
Many individuals worry about the state of their property or business after they die. In order to make sure that their property is properly treated and accounted for upon their passing, they have the option of either setting up a trust or a will. These two legal options carry different benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that even when an individual sets up one of these entities, these decisions will be questioned and disputed. The disputation may come on a number of grounds. In order to understand how such a document can be challenged, it is important to understand the difference between these two legal decisions.
What is a Trust?
Basically, a trust is a legal agreement that determines who manages a person’s property after they die and to whom the property will go. The person appointed to manage the property for the benefit of another person is called the trustee. The person whose property is in question is called the grantor. The person to whom the property will be transferred is called the beneficiary. Normally the trustee will be in possession of the property’s legal title. Sometimes a grantor will make a “living trust.” This essentially means that the trust is created while they are still alive instead of when they die. The type of trust that you choose to set up will determine whether or not it will be subject to probate, the types of taxes you will have to pay, and how the trust is managed.
What is a Will?
A will, on the other hand, is a written document that states, how property will be divided at the time of death. Basically, it is a statement that says what will go where and to whom. A will does not become official until the individual dies—up until that time it is subject to changes or amendments. The validity of the document must also be confirmed through a probate proceeding. Probate will make the will a public document that can then be carried out by an executor (either one that was appointed by the creator or one that was appointed during probate). The executor is responsible for the distribution of the will and is liable for any harm that results from improperly doing so.
How Do I Deal With a Dispute?
There are a number of reasons that a will or a trust might be contested. There could be a question as to whether or not the document was drafted under undue force by an individual who would benefit from the arrangement. The will or trust could also be unclear in its intent. Perhaps an individual feels as though they were entitled to more than they ended up receiving. In any situation and on either side of the argument, dealing with a dispute can be a challenging process. A living trust can be more difficult to contest that a regular trust or a will.
The best way to determine if you have the legal grounds to either file a dispute or to defend yourself from one is to contact an attorney who has experience with will and trust disagreements. Our law firm—Crary Buchanan—can help you with any trust and will situations. We have been helping the Florida community since 1927. Over these years we have developed a heritage of quality legal counsel. We are committed to handling your case with the only the highest professional standard. To find out more about the dispute process and what our team can do for you, give us a call and we can set up a consultation.