Beyond a Will, Trusts are a common method of dividing an individual’s assets at the time of their death. Many variations and types of trusts exist but in general a trust is a legal document that pools an individual’s assets together and provides for the distribution of those assets at a future date. Further, every trust will name a Trustee who is an individual with the task of managing, monitoring and protecting the trust assets. Trusts are typically a great way to avoid the administration of the decedent’s estate through the probate court after the individual who created the trust passes away. Moreover, trusts are often recommended to those who have substantial assets. When it comes time to distribute the trust assets parties often have disputes over how those assets should be distributed. These issues develop between beneficiaries, trustees, or a combination of outside individuals.
Unfortunately many trust disputes are the result of an elderly individual who has been taken advantage of by family members and loved ones, oftentimes due to that individuals diminished mental capacity and health. In Missouri there are four common claims involved in trust litigation; 1) lack of mental capacity, 2) fraud, 3) undue influence, and 4) duress. Many attorneys do not practice trust litigation and do not practice in the probate court. Therefore, it is imperative to hire a law firm with extensive experience in the area of trust litigation. The Law Office of Caleb A. Petersen, LLC devotes its legal practice to trust litigation and understands the requirements of a successful outcome.