If faced with any issues related to a trust, you might want to seek advice and legal representation from a reputable trust litigation attorney. Such a professional will guide you through varying legal matrices and help you get a victory from your case.
In this post, we discuss the varying types of trust funds, the time to consider hiring a trust litigation attorney, and the tips that will help you settle for the right professional.
Types of trust funds
Before we proceed, a trust is an agreement where a single party holds the other party’s property legal title for a third party’s advantage. The relationship involves:
- The grantor- This is the person responsible for creating a trust and transfers their property’s title to the trustee.
- The trustee- This is the entity or person who receives the legal titles, manages, and administers the trust
- The beneficiaries – These are the people who gain from the property in the trust. Beneficiaries can be the trustee, his/her dependents, or the grantor.
There are varying types of trust funds categorized as funded or unfunded, revocable, or irrevocable. And living or testamentary.
In the case of a revocable trust, the person creating the trust (grantor) has control over the assets and can choose to alter them at any time. With an irrevocable trust, change cannot prevail once created.
A funded trust gets funding from a grantor, while on the other hand, an unfunded trust is made up of the agreement, meaning funds can start coming once the grantor passes on. A living trust provides for the grantor until they pass on, which then goes to his/her beneficiaries.
There are varying reasons why people create trust. Some include: providing legal protection over the grantor’s assets to ensure they are allocated according to their wishes, maintaining privacy by purchasing a property through a trust, saving time, reducing paperwork, avoiding probate, and avoiding or paying less estate tax.
When to consider hiring a trust litigation attorney
Hiring a trust litigation attorney is essential when disputes spring during the distribution of property from one person to another. Despite the trust having been constructed clearly, legal issues may arise at some point requiring the services of a reputable trust litigation attorney.
Some of the reasons why a legal challenge could happen include
- Document forgery
Some documents are forged, meaning that a civil and criminal challenge is inevitable.
- If the creator of the trust got coerced
In some instances, a person creating a trust may get lured to distribute assets questionably, denying them free will to have the document as they would like.
- Breach of fiduciary responsibilities
A fiduciary has a responsibility to follow the directions outlined in the trust. If this is unfollowed, a fiduciary could get rendered in breach of a trust. And this is open to a legal challenge.
- If the individual who created the trust did not have the legal authority to do so
That could challenge the validity of the entire document. A person may also not be in the right headspace to execute a trust agreement. To win in a court of law, you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt regarding the executor’s state of mind.
Hiring the right litigation attorney
When hiring a trust litigation attorney, there are several tips that you need to consider. Some of these include:
- Confirm how many cases the trust litigation attorney has won
When you ask this particular query, bear in mind that the attorney may not define winning as you do. You might think of winning in terms of the attorney securing a judgment from a jury trial. However, an attorney can think of wins according to all the favorable settlements he has necessitated, mixed judgments and extracting concessions just before trial.
Be sure to trust different litigation attorneys on the number of cases they have won and what that may mean for your case.
- Ensure that you will get updated throughout your case
Sometimes trust litigation cases can be complex to understand, so you will need to work with an attorney who keeps you involved and informed. Ensure that both your communication lines and channels are open to facilitate good communication.
Whether they prefer to communicate through emails, phone calls, or texts, they must meet their end of the bargain by ensuring that they communicate with you regarding the progress of your case every step of the way.
You may also want to ask the person handling your case since sometimes a legal secretary or paralegal may act as your contact person. Knowing that you have someone to keep you updated with your case gives you peace of mind.
- Verify the modes of payment
Another tip to think about is how the litigation attorney handles their payments. Ask if they work on contingency or charge on an hourly basis. See if they expect a retainer and how much that would be.
Also, think about the billable rate and how long they take. If the trust litigation attorney works on contingency, they will not charge you for their service. However, the law firm will ask for payment if you win the case. And this varies in terms of percentage.
It is worthy to note that the amount of money you pay is dependent on the dispute involved, type of trust, and distribution types available.
- Find out the frequency with which the litigation attorney settles cases
Finally, several litigation attorneys opt for jury trials and do not endorse settlements. Other attorneys handle cases many times and never take the same to trial. You want to consider an attorney who is transparent about your odds of winning in your case. And one who can prepare you mentally for any outcome that may prevail.
You want to choose a trust litigation attorney who has your best interest at heart and will guide you at the right time to take a fair settlement. Always go for a trustworthy professional who is not out here to extort their clients’ money.
One way to ensure that you settle for a reliable trust litigation attorney is by looking at different sites for reviews. Consider researching their social media pages, Google, and website to assess how customers perceive their services. Steer away from legal firms with negative comments because that is a red flag that their services are unreliable.
Bear in mind that these tips are not exhaustive. Do thorough research so that you can make the right choice.