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Law Office of Noreen T. Fontaine - Trust Litigation

A Trust is designed to keep your estate away from the probate courts. However, there are many reasons why trust litigation might be necessary, such as instances where a beneficiary’s interest is compromised, or a provision in trust is ambiguous and subject to different interpretations. At the Law Office of Noreen T. Fontaine we represent beneficiaries in ensuring they receive their rightful inheritance in the most cost efficient way.

Commonly asked questions:

Am I entitled to receive a copy of a Trust?

On request of a beneficiary, the Trustee must provide a copy of the Trust except in limited situations.

The Trustee will not share information with me. What can I do?

A Trustee has a duty to keep beneficiaries of the trust reasonable informed of the trust and its administration.

Can a Trustee receive compensation for services to the Trust?

Yes. If the Trust specifies compensation, then the Trustee will be paid pursuant to the Trust. If a specific rate of pay is not stated, compensation must be ‘reasonable’. The amount of such compensation will be based on a number of factors including, complexity of the tasks involved and any particular skill and knowledge required in the performance of duties.

What can be done if a Trustee is engaged in mismanagement of a Trust?

If you suspect a Trustee is mismanaging a Trust, a beneficiary can petition the court to remove the Trustee. It is always advisable to request the Trustee post bond on the estate which acts as an insurance policy for the protection of beneficiaries.

How long do I have to contest a Trust?

A person must file an action to contest a trust within 120 days from the date of notice of trust or 60 days from the day on which a copy of the Trust is mailed or personally delivered to the person during the 120 days time period, whichever is later.

Does a Trust have to file taxes?

Yes, a Trustee must file tax returns for the Trust. A failure to do so may result in personal liability against the Trustee.

How can I protect my inheritance if I have special needs?

A disabled heir or beneficiary must take steps to ensure continued eligibility for Medi-Cal, usually through the creation of a Special Needs Trust.

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