The law can be complicated, which is why when the law is causing you trouble, or someone is causing you trouble, the best way forward is to contact a lawyer and have them work within the bounds of the law for you. In the case of trusts, this can help make the process easier and can make your dispute more likely to succeed.
What is a Trust Dispute?
A trust is used when a person’s assets are substantial. It is a great way to minimise tax and to protect the estate until it is time for the assets within the trust to be given to the trustees. These trusts can be created before death, or be created as per their request in a last will and testament.
As you can imagine, the goal of a trust is to minimise complications, but even the best-laid plans do have faults and trust disputes do happen – if the trust is incorrectly put together, if there are disputes between the trustees and beneficiaries, or if there is evidence of fraud.
When is a Trust Fraudulent?
A trust is fraudulent for a variety of reasons. If the trustee is negligent or commits fraud, for example, or if a trustee ignores a breach of trust committed by a fellow trustee. Negligence almost always will open up a case for fraud against the trust or trustees, and is generally easy to prove. If a trustee in any way neglects their duty as outlined by the trust, they are negligent.
Another example of when a trust is fraudulent or fraud is being committed with the trust is if the person who created it lacked the mental capacity or was in any way coerced into making it. This is similar to any fraud related to the last will and testament.
If the settlor, or the person who set up the trust, was given negligent legal or tax advice this could also make the trust fraudulent. This same applies if the trust documents themselves don’t line up with the wishes of the deceased in their will.
Trusts can also be used to disguise ownership of estates. This is also a fraudulent activity.
In short, either fraud can occur to exploit the trust, or fraud can occur because a trust was created for fraudulent purposes. Disputed trusts occur when there is fraud or the suspicion of fraud.
What to Do if You Want to Dispute a Trust?
Instigating family trust disputes can be challenging. There is a lot of documentation and people involved with a trust, and if you suspect fraud it can also be difficult to prove. Then there is the fact that, even if you wish to dispute a trust, you don’t want to burn bridges while you are at it. Bringing family into litigation can hurt feelings, and ruin relationships. That is why when you want to contest a trust you need trust dispute solicitors who can handle the process delicately. You will also want to choose professionals who are well versed in the law and changes that have been made over the years.