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Trust Litigation

 

Trust Litigation

The trustee of a trust may become involved in litigation for various reasons. These include:

  • When someone has questions about the validity or terms of a trust;

  • When the trustee as a fiduciary is called on to defend the trust from claims by third parties to the trust;

  • When it is necessary for the trustee as a fiduciary to sue on behalf of the trust to, for example, collect a claim that is owed to the trust;

  • When a party interested in the trust believes that actions that the trustee has taken or has failed to take have adversely affected that party's interest;

  • When litigation is commenced to compel the trustee to remove the trustee.

Perhaps one of the greatest concerns to the trustee are claims arising from allegations that the trustee has breached her fiduciary duty. The trustee in such cases could be personally liable for damages, and the costs of the trustee's defense might not be paid by the trust. However, when the validity of the trust is questioned or when strangers sue the trust or are sued by it, the trustee is entitled to prosecute or defend such claims at the expense of the trust under California's Probate Code, and all costs and any recovery should be paid from the trust assets.

There are also numerous issues that can arise in connection with the administration of a trust which sometimes are resolved by the trustee's seeking court approval of a particular course of action. Our office also assists trustees in filing petitions for such court approval.

 
 
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  301 N. Lake Avenue, Suite 1002, Pasadena CA 91101
  Tel: 626-795-8844
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Glendale, Highland Park, El Sereno, La Canada, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Gabriel, and Sierra Madre.