In the realm of safeguarding family wealth, only the most comprehensive last wills are capable of achieving remarkable feats. With the goal of securing a lasting legacy for future generations, these meticulously crafted legal documents hold immense power and potential.
That’s why a trust — and trust and estate litigation — is such a valuable tool. While a will outlines how one’s property and possessions should be distributed after death, trusts typically offer better overall wealth protection and more detailed plans for beneficiaries.
These specialized attorneys play an important role in the various kinds of disputes that occur, even in the case of a seemingly airtight trust. They are also essential in protecting the way wealth is passed down through multiple generations. A UBS Investor Watch Survey found that 83% of investors are worried about transferring wealth smoothly.
There is certainly validity to their concerns. Roughly 70% of families lose wealth in just one generation and 90% lose it in the next. Here’s how one can do everything in their power to avoid such issues.
Trust and Estate Litigation Explained
Lawsuits stemming from trusts and estate planning are typically decided by a judge, rather than a jury. Such suits can involve everything from inheritance disputes and alleged power of attorney abuse to claims of embezzlement and undue influence.
Wealth can be safeguarded through various means, including asset protection trusts, establishing LLCs, prenuptial agreements, and retirement plans. When one has substantial assets that need protection, they will often also need protection from lawsuits.
Creditors may swoop in to recoup assets or money, threatening what’s intended to be passed down as family wealth.
Estate and litigation lawyers are not only well-versed in the most effective ways to protect wealth, but they are also well-equipped to represent the interests outlined in potentially complicated estate planning procedures, usually dictated by individual state laws.
What to Expect During Litigation
Trusts come with significant benefits for both the wealthy and for average families. As more people consider revocable or irrevocable living trusts, trust litigation is becoming more common. However, trusts also have the potential to be dragged on for decades, especially when large investments or businesses are included.
Litigation is often necessary when it comes to settling disputes both large and small, between trustees and beneficiaries, in both wills and trusts. Since everyone dies and leaves some sort of estate, which includes all assets they own, essentially every estate can face litigation, no matter how small.
Legal action is designed to settle disputes between two or more parties if it arises during probate. Estate and trust litigation commonly involves heirs, inheritance, or creditor claims against an estate.
Benefits of Trust and Estate Lawyers
Trust and estate lawyers can help protect a family’s wealth long before a person’s death. This begins with consultations regarding every in and out of the estate, a review of plans to protect wealth already in place, and the creation of additional protection pathways.
Lawyers can help individuals select trustees, create and regularly update essential documents, and work with an individual to outline specific estate planning goals. In the end, their most important role is as dedicated partners in protecting an individual’s — and often their family’s — long-term wealth and security.