A trust contest can jeopardize your last wishes, deplete your estate and create a lasting rift in your family. Strange things happen – or rather, people act strangely – when money is at stake. A trust content can divide a family for generations. Besides, the cost of litigating a trust contest has been known to wipe out a huge chunk of an estate, leaving the dependents with nothing.
A trust is contested when a lawsuit is filed to challenge the validity of its content. If the lawsuit is successful, the court is left with no option but to invalidate your trust. The last thing you want to happen after your demise is your loved ones getting embroiled in a fight over your estate.
Here are two common reasons that your trust can become the subject of a legal battle when you pass on.
When the trust bears the names of dead trustees or beneficiaries
A trust is not a piece of document that you write and store in some safety box never to look at again. If your trustee or a beneficiary passes on, it is important that you remove their name from the trust. A trustee who was recently incapacitated should also be removed from your trust. This is also a great time to get the assurance that your designated trustees are still able, and willing, to act on your behalf.
When the trustee is incompetent
It is worth noting that not everyone has the competence to handle your estate. It is important that you have a trustee who understands how to manage your affairs, dispose of your estate and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. If your chosen trustee becomes ills, moves away or is incarcerated, they may no longer be competent to handle your trust. Your chosen trustee must also be a citizen of the United States.
The death of a loved one is tough enough. It is important that you review your trust from time to time to ensure that it is up to date and makes sense.