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Trust Litigation Archives

Protect your nonprofit's donations made through trusts

When a person passes away, going over the estate plan is something that some heir and beneficiaries look forward to. In some cases, the decedent includes beneficiaries besides relatives. This might lead to some problems because the family members might question the inclusion of entities like charities. Trust litigation might come up at this point. We know that most charities don't want to have to battle for the assets they are supposed to receive when a donor passes away, but we are here to help them do this.

Fighting for the trust assets that are due to you

A person who is creating an estate plan will sometimes include trusts in that plan. This is a fairly straightforward process that makes it easier for the estate to transfer the assets to the beneficiary when the creator passes away. While this usually occurs without any issues, there are times when the person or entity who should receive the trust's assets will have to fight for them. We know that this isn't what you planned to do when the creator passed away, but we are here to help you through the process.

Taking legal action over a trust might be possible

A person who is creating an estate plan will often use trusts as a way to move assets around. These are established with a specific purpose in mind and must be handled in a specific manner. While these are usually foolproof, there are times when a trust litigation matter might come up. We can help you learn more about these matters and what options you have for handling them.

Trust litigation: What does it involve?

Trust litigation may erupt when the rights to a trust are not clear. An individual or a company, for example, could find that the language of the trust is ambiguous to the degree that its intentions are unclear -- or because one party is doggedly intent on interpreting the trust in an inappropriate manner.

What are the responsibilities of a trustee?

A trustee is required to do three primary things, which include managing, distributing and filing taxes on the assets contained within the trust. When these obligations will kick in is largely contingent upon the type of trust that its owner has set up. There are other responsibilities that trustees are legally mandated to carry out though. If they're unable to do so, then they should allow someone else to be appointed who can.

When should I update my trust and estate plan?

Your estate plan is not something you can create, dot the I's and cross the T's, then put it in a drawer and forget about. In fact, trusts and estate plans should be reviewed every several years -- or preferably on an annual basis -- to ensure that they perfectly reflect the wishes and needs of the people they affect.

Protecting a charitable trust when an heir tries to access it

As a not-for-profit business or charitable organization, you depend largely on the generosity of donors. Donations can take many forms. Some people like to give monthly gifts, while others will give a lump sum in December to help with their tax liability. Still others choose to leave behind a portion of their assets in their last will to charities that they support.

What is the most common reason wills are contested?

If you think about those who are closest to you, then you can probably easily identify those who are more opinionated than others. While having people like this around may be helpful in making certain decisions, any help they provide you with in selecting the executor or beneficiaries of your estate can hurt you, making it take longer to settle your estate.

What are split-interest trusts?

As part of your estate planning, you may have a desire to help both your family and to give to a charity with a mission that's near and dear to your heart at the same time. If this is something that you have plans of doing, then you may want to consider setting up a split-interest trust. There are two different types of these.

What does 'caveat emptor' in the context of real estate sales?

'Caveat emptor' is an ancient Latin phrase that when used in a legal context, essentially means "let the buyer beware." This refers to the problem that frequently happens when an owner of a piece of property sells it to someone else. Invariably, the owner has a great deal more information about the property than the buyer.

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