A trust is a document whereby an individual (the trustor or settlor) transfers or designates certain property to be transferred to someone (the trustee). The trustee holds the property for the benefit of the trustor or someone else (the beneficiary). It is one way to avoid probate. Trust disputes arise for many reasons.
For Arizona trusts, the trustee is required to follow the provisions of the trust and the Arizona Trust Code (beginning with Section 14-10101 of the Arizona Revised Statutes) . For example, the trustee must hold, administer and disburse the trust property or pay out the trust money to the beneficiaries as directed in the trust. Generally, the trustee must also provide financial reports (accountings) and other information concerning the trust to the beneficiaries.
If the trustee does not abide by his/her obligations, he/she may be liable for breach of trust or breach of fiduciary duty.
Property transferred to a trust generally passes to the named beneficiaries outside of probate. Even though probate may be avoided, trust administration can be involved and complex.
Certain assets in trust, such as some life insurance, are not subject to claims of creditors.
Types of Trust Disputes
Trust disputes or disagreements may arise regarding, for example, the following:
- Whether the trustor had legal capacity (was of sound mind) to create the trust
- Whether the trustor was subjected to undue influence in creating the trust
- Whether the trust was affected by fraud, or duress
- Whether the trustee has provided correct and full accountings of the trust’s assets, income, and disbursements
- Whether the trustee has prudently invested and administered the trust’s assets
Contact Our Experienced Trust Administration/Litigation Attorneys
If you have a dispute involving a trust or simply have questions involving trust administration, we may be able to help you. Our experienced trust, estate and contract litigation lawyers will provide timely, compassionate, aggressive, and tenacious representation to pursue or defend all types of trust claims.
Call or email us if you have any questions or need experienced legal guidance.