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What Happens When a Trust is Contested?

The scenario: a loved one passes away. That person (grantor) had created a trust that specifically outlined who would receive all assets that the grantor owned. If there are individuals who feel they are wronged by the conditions or management of the trust, they can contest the trust. Here are a few reasons why someone might want to contest a trust:

  • A person was completely left out of the trust and receives no assets from the estate.
  • Beneficiaries named in the trust only received a small portion of the estate and feel they deserve more.
  • There is reason to believe that the grantor was influenced to write the trust in a certain way that left people out of the trust.
  • There is reason to believe that the grantor was not mentally competent when they wrote the trust.
  • There is reason to believe that the trustee – the person who is responsible for managing the trust and distributing the assets – is not acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
  • The trust was not valid.

To contest a trust, you must file a lawsuit. However, it is not quite that simple. In order to be successful, you need to have substantial proof that your contest is valid and you need to standing to bring the lawsuit.  There is specific paperwork that must be properly filled out so it can be reviewed by the courts. If you do not provide sufficient evidence of your claim, you will most likely lose the lawsuit and the trust will be carried out in the manner it was written.

However, if the court does agree with your assessments, the trust may be deemed invalid. In that case, the court then determines how the assets of the trust will be distributed. There is no guarantee that your specific wishes regarding the distribution of the assets to you will actually be granted.

The Denver estate planning lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC have vast experience helping our clients with trust disputes in Colorado. Whether you feel your trust is being mismanaged or you feel you are entitled to more than what the trust outlined for you, our team can help. Take advantage of our expertise and guidance by contacting us at (303) 339-3750 or online.