Trust Contest Attorney: Experienced Guidance Through Trust and Estate Disputes

Discover how a trust contest attorney at Wood Law Group can guide you through the complex process of challenging a trust, ensuring your rights are protected.

Wood Law Group: Your Experienced Trust Contest Lawyer

Trusts are legal mechanisms through which a person  (the settlor) transfers assets to a trustee, who manages those assets to benefit designated beneficiaries. They are a popular estate planning tool favored for their capacity to help control the distribution of assets after the settlor’s death, avoid probate, and minimize estate and gift taxes.

Many people who seek to put their affairs in order and avoid inheritance disputes turn to trusts instead of traditional wills. Unfortunately, trusts are not immune to controversies and disagreement. 

Trust contests are legal challenges to the validity or terms of a trust. They typically occur when beneficiaries or other interested parties believe there are issues with the trust’s creation, terms, or administration.

The outcome of a trust contest is significant because the rights and lives of many might be affected. Therefore, it would be wise for anyone involved in such a contest to seek help from an experienced trust contest and estate planning attorney who can safeguard their rights and guide them toward a fair dispute resolution. 

Wood Law Group is a highly experienced estate planning law firm that provides comprehensive legal services to address various estate-related issues. We are adept at handling trust and estate litigation, probate, and other complex legal matters that may arise in the management and distribution of an estate.  Whether you need assistance creating a robust estate plan or navigating the challenges of estate litigation, including trust contests, we can offer you our advanced legal skills from several years of experience and dedication to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

Read on as we explain how trust contests in Nevada work and specific ways our dedicated team can help. 

Common Reasons for Contesting a Trust

Trust contests are typically initiated by family members or beneficiaries of settlors. But what could drive someone to contest a trust against their loved one’s established wishes?

In our experience, most trust contests are based on allegations that based  that the trust  does not accurately reflect the true intentions of the settlor due to suspicions of: 

  • Undue Influence: This occurs when an individual exerts excessive pressure or forceful persuasion over the settlor, possibly during moments of vulnerability, leading them to create or modify the trust in a way that benefits the influencer at the expense of other beneficiaries. 
  • Lack of Capacity: A trust can be contested if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the settlor did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the trust when it was created or amended.
  • Fraud or Forgery: A trust contest may arise if there is reason to believe that the trust document was forged or that the settlor signed the trust under false pretenses.
  • Improper Execution of the Trust Document: Trusts in Nevada must meet certain Legal formalities to be valid. A trust that does not comply with the statutory requirements is unenforceable and can be contested.

There might be other reasons for contesting a trust. But whatever the reason, anyone seeking to initiate a trust contest must ensure that they have valid grounds to do so, as the absence of such grounds can be used to successfully fight the contest. 

An Overview of the Trust Contest Process

Contesting a trust is a legal battle often waged in the probate courts, where beneficiaries and any other party with legal standing dig through the layers to unearth the truth.

The trust contest process begins when an interested person (such as a beneficiary) files a petition inviting the court to decide on issues related to

  • The administration and distribution of s trust
  • The declaration of the rights of the beneficiaries
  • The validity of the trust
  • Any other matter between trustees and beneficiaries.

The case is typically handled like a civil lawsuit. As such, the parties involved are required to file pleadings (court documents) stating the facts they rely on and follow the court rules applied in civil cases.

After hearing from the parties, the court will give a final and conclusive order that it considers appropriate in the circumstances. 

If you’re involved in a trust contest, you should know that courts do not decide issues based on speculation or the emotions of any party. Like regular civil lawsuits, you need to present solid evidence and legal arguments to convince the judge that the facts you allege are true and to see things from your perspective. 

Throughout this complex process, seasoned legal counsel is indispensable. Whether your aim is to contest or defend a trust, engaging a trust litigation attorney ensures that you have the right counsel and guidance through all the stages of the court process—from filing the initial petition to the trial.

Can Trust Contests Be Prevented?

Like other estate and inheritance disputes, trust contests can tear a once-happy family apart. If you’re looking to create a trust, you might wonder if there’s a way to avoid the possibility of a future trust contest. Such concerns can be addressed by including a no-contest clause in your trust instrument.

No-contest clauses are provisions included in trust documents ( and wills )that aim to discourage beneficiaries from contesting the document. These clauses typically state that if a beneficiary challenges the validity of the trust or will, they risk losing their inheritance or bequest entirely. 

No-contest clauses are strictly enforced in Nevada and are a good way to ensure that your wishes for your estate and loved ones are followed while preserving family harmony. 

However, to ensure maximum compliance, it is important to properly draft a no-contest clause and clearly set out the types of conduct by beneficiaries that would activate the clause.

How We Can Help at Wood Law Group

Contesting a trust is never a straightforward affair. When a settlor passes away or is incapacitated, questions may surface concerning their intentions and emotions, and stakes run high. 

Does the trust reflect the true desires of the settlor? Was an elderly person unduly influenced or mentally incompetent at the time of the trust’s creation, or has a trustee potentially engaged in self-dealing or failed in their fiduciary duty? 

Resolving these issues can be complex, which is why legal guidance and representation are crucial for everyone involved. 

At Wood Law Group, we are committed to helping clients achieve favorable outcomes through our knowledgeable and dedicated legal services.

If you’re involved in a trust contest, you can trust us to provide quality legal counsel to help you understand your position, represent you throughout the trust contest, and work to convince the judge to decide in your favor.

As estate planning attorneys, we can also help settlors create or amend their trusts to include solid no-contest clauses to ensure their wishes remain enforceable even in their absence.

Whether you intend to advance, defend, or prevent a trust contest, you can count on us to work in your best interests and provide you with the legal resources and support necessary to achieve your goals. 

Get in Touch With Our Trust Contest Lawyer Today

Consulting with a trust contest attorney is crucial for successfully initiating or defending a trust contest. These legal professionals provide essential guidance and knowledge to navigate the complexities of trust disputes, ensuring that clients’ interests are effectively represented and protected.

If you’re going through a trust contest in Nevada, our trust contest attorney at Wood Law Group can provide personalized legal assistance and representation and help steer you toward a just outcome. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your concerns. Let us help you understand your options and decide on the next steps together.