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Reasons why someone would contest a trust

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Probate Litigation |

Trusts intend to divide assets up according to the wishes of the grantor, but sometimes there are problems. When someone contests a trust, it means they are challenging the validity or terms of a trust document.

There are five common reasons why someone would contest a trust.

1. Lack of capacity

One reason for contesting a trust is if the grantor did not have the mental capacity to create it. If someone can show that the grantor lacked a sound mind when establishing the trust, it could invalidate it.

2. Undue influence

Another common reason for contesting a trust is if there is evidence of undue influence. This occurs when someone pressures or manipulates the grantor into creating or modifying the trust in their favor, against the grantor’s true intentions.

3. Fraud or misrepresentation

Contesting may also occur if there is evidence of fraud or misrepresentation. This could involve false information provided to the grantor about the trust’s terms or the assets involved.

4. Ambiguity or mistakes

Ambiguity or mistakes in their language or execution sometimes lead to the contestation of trusts. If the terms of the trust are unclear or if there are errors in its drafting, it could lead to disputes among beneficiaries.

5. Changes in circumstances

Changes in circumstances, such as family dynamics or financial situations, may also prompt someone to contest a trust. If the trust no longer aligns with current realities or the beneficiaries’ needs, they may seek to challenge its terms.

Understanding why someone might contest a trust can help trustees navigate potential challenges in asset distribution.