Oviedo Family Trust Litigation Attorney
Trusts are extremely common among families from all walks of life in Seminole County. Some examples include financial trusts for disabled family members and spendthrift trusts for minor children. All too often, these trusts are used as bargaining chips in prenuptial agreements and other family law matters. That’s just one reason family trust litigation is so common in Florida.
No one can craft a litigation-proof trust, but at the Troum Law Firm, our efforts come close to this level. Additionally, we provide full service representation before, during, and after family trust litigation matters. These cases are rather complex. Our Oviedo family trust litigation attorneys make things as simple as possible, so you can make the best possible decisions for you and your family.
Elements of a Trust
Most family trusts in Florida are revocable trusts. These trusts can be altered at almost any time while the settlor (person who established the trust) is alive and competent to make these decisions. The trustee is the person who manages the corpus (money or property in the trust) for the benefit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Generally, to make things as seamless as possible, the settlor and trustee are the same person.
Sometimes, trusts are standalone instruments. More frequently, however, they are part of a complete estate planning package which includes one or more trusts, a will, and a power of attorney. Many people execute these documents when they marry for a second or subsequent time. Estate documents such as these make their property, inheritance, and succession intentions crystal clear.
Trust litigation usually results from either a technical flaw in the documents or evidence of improper conduct. So, properly drafting and executing the documents is normally the stitch in time that saves nine.
Common Litigation Issues
As mentioned, undue influence and lack of capacity are the most common reasons for family members to dispute a family trust in court.
Undue influence claims almost always involve circumstantial evidence. Examples include obscure amendments or codicils which were signed or executed under unusual circumstances or changes in beneficiary or other status which benefit certain individuals. Only an experienced Oviedo family trust attorney knows how to properly examine this evidence and evaluate your claim.
Lack of capacity claims, on the other hand, usually involve direct evidence. Typically, the challenging party must prove that the testator or other person executing the trust did not have the mental capacity to fully understand the identity of all possible heirs or beneficiaries and/or the complete extent of his/her financial holdings.
In both situations, challenging parties must prove facts by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That’s the lowest standard of proof in Florida law.
Contact a Thorough Oviedo Family Trust Litigation Lawyer
Family trust litigation is often necessary to ensure that a person’s true wishes are followed. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Oviedo, contact The Troum Law Firm, P.A. After-hours, virtual, and home visits are available.