Auckland Trust Lawyer – Grounds For Contesting Your Family Trust
Over the years, the traditional will has become outdated, while trusts are getting increasingly popular for estate planning and administration. However, this can also bring disputes among beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. These disputes to contest a trust otherwise known as contentious trusts, inevitably need the help of specialist family trust lawyers to explain and help to resolve. If you think your situation within a family trust is not right, then you might want to look for an Auckland family trust lawyer for contentious trusts.
Firstly, you have to find out if you are legally in a position to contest the trust in question. Only persons who will be affected by the outcome of the case are allowed to challenge the trust and its contents. You must either be a beneficiary of the Trust Deed or would have inherited if the deceased died without a will. Also, if you are a devisee of the contested trust, you have the opportunity to challenge the family trust. People who meet these conditions are the only ones to be considered by the court to be able to make a challenge to a family trust. Most times, these are family members directly related to the deceased, like spouses, grandchildren, parents, and children. To understand if you are in a position to contest a trust, you need to talk to a specialist Auckland family trust lawyer for contentious trusts.
Once you have confirmed that legally you are in a position to contest the trust, ensure you have enough evidence of impropriety facing the family trust. There are common grounds that can prove that a family trust can cause disputes. These include undue influence, lack of proper signing, lack of capacity, and the existence of a more recent will. The deceased at the time of signing should be of sound mind. If there is any proof that they were under pressure or received threats by someone, hence not doing as they had rightfully wanted, then trust can be contested. The court takes all these claims and investigates them. Until investigations are over, all actions regarding the document stop.
Another ground for contesting is an instance where there’s unclear language confusing the beneficiaries of the trust. You have to make sure the language used is clear to your capability. If not, you will need an interpretation of the word by a professional. In this situation, the court takes the matter and interprets it. If the language tends to be clear by the court, then the trust will be executed with no changes. However, if the word is unclear, then legal action will be taken for further clarity.
The validity of a will can only be proven if the deceased was of sound mind at the time of signing or making the trust. Pieces of evidence like forgetfulness, or inability to identify people are enough proof to contest a trust. In such a case, you must be able to get medical reports to back your claims while the courts do its intensive investigation to give a final verdict.
While you get yourself involved in the process of contesting a family trust, it is always good to know that this type of litigation may harm you and your family. Long-lasting damage can arise between family members since your interests will be different for you to go to court. Entering this process, you must consider these aspects carefully.
If you believe you have grounds for a contentious trust, McVeagh Fleming has a team of specialist lawyers who can advise you.