Minnesota Lawyers Helping Resolve Trust Disputes
In many ways, trust disputes are similar to probate disputes. Trust disputes can involve the same emotional and psychological aspect as probate disputes. Both kinds of disputes also involve questions of inheritance; both may involve issues of undue influence, lack of capacity and other grounds for challenge. At the same time, there are important differences. Probate matters always require some level of court involvement to one degree or another. Trusts, on the other hand, frequently do not require court supervision. Someone involved in a legal dispute over a trust or contemplating a lawsuit over the provisions of a trust should consult an attorney who understands the complexities and costs of trust litigation.
Experienced Trust Litigation Attorneys
At the St. Paul, Minnesota, law firm of Mason & Helmers, the attorneys advise and advocate for clients in trust litigation. If they are unable to resolve a dispute with informal discussions or through alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation or arbitration, they represent clients aggressively in court. The firm’s founder, attorney Rodney J. Mason, has 30 years of experience handling inheritance litigation issues and uses that experience to advise and represent clients.
Common Questions to Ask
Many trust disputes arise when beneficiaries feel that they are not getting information they want. Sometimes beneficiaries are not getting information to which they are entitled, sometimes they are seeking information to which they are not entitled, and sometimes they don’t know how to ask for the information they want.
When clients seek to begin trust litigation, the firm’s lawyers walk them through the process so that they know exactly what will happen and what they are likely to gain. Clients respond to questions such as:
- What are your goals?
- What is the basis for your dispute?
- Is the benefit worth the financial and emotional costs?
The answers to these questions help clients make informed decisions about moving forward with trust litigation. They also help clients step back from what is often a highly emotional situation and analyze the matter more objectively.
Issues in Trust Litigation
The firm handles trust litigation arising from issues such as these:
- Fiduciary issues, including whether the trustee engaged in self-dealing, invested the assets prudently, made a proper effort to save administrative costs and taxes, followed the instructions in the trust instrument, charged excessive fees or committed fraud
- Questions regarding the trust itself, including whether the settlor had capacity to execute the trust, whether the document was properly signed or whether the trust was a product of undue influence
- Disputes among classes of beneficiaries: (1) Does a second wife and second family take preference over the family from the first marriage? (2) Do children take preference to the exclusion of grandchildren? (3) Are children involved in a family business treated differently from children who are not involved?
To learn more about trust disputes, contact Mason & Helmers today. The firm’s attorneys serve clients in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and beyond. Call 651-323-2548 or 877-389-5533 (toll free) to set up an appointment.