Assistance with a Trust Contest in Irvine

Do you need to contest the trust of a loved one in Orange County?

The loss of a loved one is a difficult challenge. Unfortunately, many can find themselves in a situation that is even more difficult due to the emergence of a new trust filed after the loved one’s passing.

This situation is more common than one would like to believe. This type of document is often produced by a family member or friend who cared for or worked closely with the decedent at their end of life. In most cases, this person believes they deserve to inherit a greater portion of the estate because of their position. Or they manipulated the decedent to create a document that they otherwise would not have made under more sound conditions.

Many concerns may arise from this new document. Perhaps, it is organized incorrectly, there are changed trustees or beneficiaries, or there is an entirely unfamiliar inheritance amount designation. Regardless of your reason for contesting, it would be best to move quickly when you become aware of this new document. It is vital to decide if you will accept this change or wish to contest it.

Contest Process

There is a constraint on the time available to contest a trust. From the date you have been officially notified of the decedent’s death by the trust administrator, a beneficiary has 120 days to bring a claim regarding a trust document. Other time triggers may be enforced, depending on whether a copy of the trust document was included in the initial notification or not. If you wish to contest a trust, you must request to obtain a copy of the document.

Once a claim is filed, estate litigation is opened. The claimant’s responsibility, with their trust litigation lawyer, is to produce evidence against this new trust. This evidence may include a record of a previous trust, proof that the decedent made changes under undue influence, or that the trust was made fraudulently without the decedent’s knowledge.

If this contest claim is found to be accurate, results may vary. The estate may defer to a previously made will or trust documents or mediated and settled or possibly taken to trial.


In some cases, a “no contest” clause may be included in a trust or will that eliminates a beneficiary from inheritance if they contest the document. In California, these clauses are often enforced. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the risk of contesting.

If you have been eliminated from the trust entirely, though, the “no contest” is rendered irrelevant in your case. It is vital to consult an attorney and provide them with your case’s specifics if you believe this clause may cause an issue.

Legal Assistance

You must seek legal advice and hire an estate litigation attorney with a strong reputation for being a trustworthy expert in trust administration and litigation. This attorney should be familiar with the laws and practices of the county in which the decedent lived.

For example, if your loved one lived in Newport Beach, this is where their trust will be filed. Therefore, you should hire a lawyer from Orange County, whether you live in the state of California.

Having an experienced attorney who is well-versed in trust litigation is essential to understanding your rights and options.

The Legacy Lawyers

The Legacy Lawyers are available to assist in all aspects of trust administration concerns in California. Whether you intend to open a trust contest in Irvine, Los Angeles, or any other California location, we can work closely with you. Our goal is to ensure you receive the best legal advice available. Likewise, we represent clients from any other state that needs to open litigation in Orange County.

Contact The Legacy Lawyers today for a consultation to discuss your Irvine estate planning and trust contest questions.