Wills are one of the most straightforward and transparent estate planning tools. They spell out what assets the deceased left and how they wanted them to be distributed.
If you see someone getting something you thought you would inherit, you may be able to file a challenge to the will – provided you meet the requirements.
Trusts are more complex
Let’s say that when you see your father’s will, you are surprised because you thought he owned much more than the will mentions. Then you remember that your sister spent much more time than usual with your dad during his final months and wonder if she persuaded him to put assets aside for her without telling you. A trust would be one way to do that.
The problem with trusts is their lack of transparency. Or at least it might be a problem for you as someone unsure whether you are getting a fair deal in the estate distribution. That secrecy is one of the reasons many people use trusts in the first place. Here are some of the facts that the trust may keep secret:
- What assets are in the trust
- Who stands to benefit from it
- Who is in charge of it
So yes, contesting a trust is more complicated than challenging a will, partly because it can be hard to tell if there is anything you need to contest.
Getting legal help to investigate further and see if you have a reason to be concerned about assets transferred via trusts can help you decide whether to file a trust contest.