Many people assume that if they have an estate plan, it will ensure that their family will not fight over assets once they are gone. Unfortunately, disputes between named beneficiaries still occur because many estate plans are not clear or the terms are inconsistent. If you are a beneficiary (or you believe you should have been named a beneficiary), it is essential to obtain legal advice in challenging the validity of the will or trust. What are the common types of beneficiary disputes? When emotions are running high, there is a wide range of disputes that can arise over an estate plan. Below are a few examples:

  • Validity of a Last Will and Testament. Challenging the validity of a will may involve allegations that the documents were forged, the person signing the will (the “testator”) did not have the required mental capacity to execute the will, or a certain beneficiary coerced the testator into gifting assets to him/her.
  • Mismanagement of a Trust. A trustee has numerous duties and obligations that must be timely met. Allegations that a trustee is failing to meet these duties, that the trustee is mismanaging the trust or abusing his/her powers, or that the trustee has improperly allocated family assets are all common accusations in a beneficiary dispute.
  • Interpretation of a Will. If a will is not clear, beneficiaries may have different interpretations of what the testator intended.
  • Power of Attorney. Similar to an executor or trustee, a power of attorney has numerous duties and obligations. If the appointed power of attorney fails to meet these duties or abuses his/her power, a lawsuit may be necessary.

The above list is not exhaustive, so if you have questions regarding a dispute over an estate plan, contact The Legacy Lawyers. If you want to challenge a will or trust, we will carefully walk with you every step of the way. You will never be left wondering what to do next. Plus we are here to answer your questions at no additional charge. Start today by calling to schedule your no-cost consultation: (714) 963-7543.