Civil disputes involve a jury that redresses the issue. However, trust and estate litigation cases are different; they’re decided by a judge instead. Thus, lawyers specializing in such disputes need an intimate understanding of the requirements for prevailing in courts before judges.
Those who seek out trust lawyers must search for those with the experience and abilities necessary to successfully represent trustees, beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and third parties in a wide range of estate disputes.
Why People Require Trust Lawyers
Anyone who has been involved with estate issues understands the importance of contacting trust lawyers at the optimal time. Probate lawyers or trust attorneys are used for the following common problems (though this is by no means an exhaustive list):
- Trust litigation disputes — This includes any disagreement pertaining to the administration of a trust. Such disputes can arise between trustees and beneficiaries or amongst trustees themselves.
- Inheritance dispute between children — The division of assets can cause intense conflicts resulting in costly legal action if not handled correctly.
- Power of attorney abuse — While it can come in many forms, it typically involves making decisions that aren’t in the donor’s best interest, misusing the donor’s property or money, or neglecting their welfare.
- Trustee breaching a fiduciary duty — In other words, a trustee fails to meet their legal obligations.
- Undue influence — This occurs when somebody in a position of authority or trust takes advantage of a person to wrongfully acquire a portion or all of their estate.
- Embezzlement — It’s a type of fraud wherein somebody intentionally uses assets for personal gain.
Such cases are based on state law. Therefore, people who need assistance should always choose a lawyer with experience working in their state. For instance, those who reside in California should only research California state law — many individuals may be surprised to learn just how different the rules and regulations are when simply crossing borders to other states.
A Great Trust and Estate Litigation Lawyer Makes All the Difference
While the above issues are certainly stressful and tiresome, the perfect lawyer makes all the difference. Individuals should endeavor to procure their one-true-legal-match to give themselves the best chance of coming out victorious.
And when it comes to law firms and researching estate lawyers, experience is perhaps the single most crucial aspect. Practice makes perfect, after all, so finding an attorney who has been successful in front of probate judges and during mediation is crucial.
Furthermore, a wide-reaching portfolio of case types is essential. From elder abuse to trustee disputes to will and trust contests to court-ordered constructive trusts to omitted spouse to everything in between, lawyers who’ve already been against a myriad of issues is a must.
There’s simply no substitute for knowledge and experience. Estate attorneys need to assist clients in all manner of situations — not just inside the courtroom. Expert estate lawyers can often recognize potential legal disputes before they arise, giving their clients ample time to remedy circumstances before splashing exorbitant amounts of cash on taking issues to court.