Buffington Law Firm’s trust dispute litigation attorneys have dealt with many trust litigation cases deriving from situations in which the maker of a trust (the “trustor”) made changes to his or her trust very late in life. Trust dispute scenarios sometimes involve situations in which an elderly person makes a radical change to his or her estate plan literally days, weeks, or a few months before death. Of course, in our free society an elder of sound mind has every right to do this at any time. It is sometimes the case that after a lifetime of reflection a person may rationally want to make changes to the disposition of his or her legacy.
Unfortunately, in some cases these late-in-life changes are caused by the trustor falling under the control and domination of another person. All too commonly an elderly trustor has lost mental capacity, or still has some mental capacity but is vulnerable to undue influence. California law essentially defines undue influence as “excessive persuasion” that causes another person to act or refrain from acting in accordance with that person’s free will, resulting in inequity. Thus, an elder need not be mentally incompetent to be a victim of undue influence. In these situations what often happens is that a child or relative of the trustor has new trust papers drawn up by an attorney that unfairly favor that person. In these situations the new trust does not truly reflect the testamentary intent and wishes of the elderly and vulnerable trustor. Usually the trustor’s family does not learn of these changes until the trustor passes. When this happens the family often wishes to and should challenge the new trust. Buffington Law Firm has long experience in successfully handling these types of trust disputes.
If you are involved in a situation involving a trust dispute of this kind, you need prompt legal help. Delay can be fatal to your claim in situations in which a trust contest is appropriate. In these situations we invite you to contact Buffington Law Firm for a free legal consultation to discuss your case. In this no-obligation consultation you will speak to an experienced trust litigation attorney to discuss your rights and a recommended course of action.