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Denver Trust Litigation Lawyer

When a loved one passes away and trusts go into effect, disputes may quickly arise among the beneficiaries or between the beneficiaries and the trustees (fiduciaries) overseeing the trusts. In many cases, such trust disputes can be as contentious as they are costly and destructive, and working through them to obtain an appropriate resolution will be essential to preserving the assets of the trust, as well as the relationships between beneficiaries and fiduciaries.

If you are involved in any type of trust dispute that may require litigation, contact the Denver trust litigation lawyers at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., for a free initial consultation. We can assist you with even the most complicated types of cases using comprehensive, compassionate and personalized legal services.

Denver trust dispute attorneysWhy Choose Us?

  • At Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., our Denver trust litigation attorneys are experienced at representing both beneficiaries and fiduciaries embroiled in trust disputes.
  • We have decades of experience in the trust litigation practice area. We can use both traditional and innovative solutions to achieve the best possible result for your trust dispute or matter.
  • While we are focused on advocating our clients’ interests, minimizing their costs and helping them resolve their disputes outside of court, we are always ready to represent them in court when trust litigation is necessary to achieve the best possible outcomes to their trust disputes. If you need legal guidance, call our Denver estate planning attorneys at (303) 713-9147 for a free initial consultation.

Denver Trust Litigation Resources & FAQs

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows someone known as a trustee to hold, manage and distribute assets owned by someone else (a grantor) on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. The trustee is a third party – not the person who owns the assets or the person receiving them – that the grantor trusted with the control and management of their assets after his or her death or incapacitation. The trust itself refers to the legal document that contains the fiduciary arrangement and lists the rules that the grantor wishes to be followed for any property or assets held in trust for the beneficiary.

The Difference Between a Trust and a Will

Trusts and wills are both legal documents that have the power to transfer property, money, assets or an estate to heirs and beneficiaries. The difference is that a will must go through probate and be administered by an appointed executor, while a trust can skip the probate court process. Another difference is that a will is a written document that will become active only when its administrator dies. A trust, on the other hand, becomes active on the day of its creation. Unlike a will, a grantor can arrange the distribution of his or her assets before death with a trust.

Our Experience Successfully Resolving Trust Disputes

It is important to find an attorney with real-world experience handling the type of dispute or trust issue that is impacting you and your family. You should be able to rely on the fact that your attorney has the knowledge and expertise to properly address all of your legal needs. Our Denver trust dispute litigation lawyers are skilled at successfully resolving various types of disputes on behalf of our clients, including (but are not limited to) trust disputes regarding:

  • The appointed trustee – Many trust disputes arise because beneficiaries believe that the trustee is failing to live up to his fiduciary duties.  In other words, these types of trust disputes are based on allegations that a trustee has breached his fiduciary duties. It’s important to point out here that, in some cases, an alleged breach of fiduciary duty may have been intentional on the part of the trustee (i.e., the trustee was deliberately trying to defraud the trust). In other cases, trustees who are inexperienced may make mistakes that unintentionally result in an alleged breach of fiduciary duties. Regardless of why fiduciary duties may have been breached, the fact is that, when such a breach has occurred and can be proven in court, beneficiaries can be entitled to compensatory damages (to repay them for damages and losses due to the breach of fiduciary duty) and punitive damages (to punish the fiduciary).
  • The validity of the trust document – The bases of these types of trust disputes arise from contentions that a trust is not legally valid because at least one of the following factor is an issue:
    • The person who created the trust did not have the mental capacity or awareness to legally do so when the trust was developed.
    • Undue influence was exerted over the person who created the trust and, consequently, resulted in elements of the trust that are not aligned with the trustmaker’s true wishes.
    • The provisions of the trust are unclear, illegal or have been improperly interpreted by a trustee.

No matter what type of trust dispute you are dealing with in Denver, our lawyers can address your needs with personalized legal services that are poised to achieve the most effective and efficient solution possible. Trusting us with your case can give you the ability to rest and relax while a skilled professional handles trust litigation on your behalf.

What to Expect During a Guardianship or Conservatorship Hearing

Many individuals in Denver do not plan ahead for what will happen after they pass on. This is especially true of those who die or become incapacitated in sudden or unexpected circumstances, such as a traumatic accident. Insufficient or inadequate estate planning may lead to the probate court needing to intervene to appoint a guardian or conservator through a legal hearing. If you are the surviving spouse, loved one or heir of a deceased individual in Colorado, here’s what to expect during this type of hearing:

  • The probate court’s first choice will generally be a close family member to the deceased individual, such as a surviving spouse, domestic partner or adult child.
  • If two or more people both wish to be the guardian or conservator, the court will choose according to the decedent’s best interests, based on a review of the petitioner’s character and abilities.
  • If no close family member is available or responsible enough to take this position, the court will consider other relatives or even close friends.
  • In the absence of any friend or family member that is suitable or available, the courts will turn to a neutral professional who normally handles guardianship and conservatorships, such as an attorney.
  • When making a claim to become a guardian or conservator of an estate, you will need to present evidence showcasing your ability to take on the responsibilities of this role, such as character witnesses or a psychological evaluation.

You may need assistance from a trust litigation attorney during a guardianship or conservatorship hearing. A lawyer will know what to expect from the probate court process and can help you by taking care of complicated legal tasks on your behalf. Our attorneys at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. are experienced at representing clients in these hearings during both simple and complex cases. We can guide you through the legal process while protecting your rights and best interests.

A Denver Trust Litigation Attorney at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd.

When disputes with trusts arise, both beneficiaries and fiduciaries can turn to the trust dispute lawyers at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. law office. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ disputes, issues, and needs, and we are committed to helping each of our clients work out the best possible solutions to their trust disputes. This means that our clients can always count on us to provide them with:

  • Competent, caring and professional representation
  • Personalized attention
  • The highest quality of legal services.

Our trust dispute litigation attorneys in Denver are skilled at using a variety of traditional and innovative strategies to successfully resolve disputes while upholding our clients’ interests and helping them achieve their objectives.

Types of Disputes and Litigation We Handle

Trust litigation is a broad practice area. At Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd., when we say we offer trust litigation, we mean that we have the power to provide any legal services or representation that you need to resolve your trust-related matter. Several types of contests may be brought against a trust or trustee, such as allegations that the trust is a falsified document or that stipulations within a trust were poorly planned or executed. Our lead attorneys have practiced this area of law for many years and understand how to handle virtually any type of trust dispute.

We can protect your legal rights as well as your loved one’s last wishes by providing legal services for all of the following estate administration and trust disputes, and more:

  • Will or trust contests
  • Trust administration
  • Estate planning
  • Business succession
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Breach of trust 
  • Beneficiary disputes
  • Conservatorships disputes

Whether you are afraid that a trustee is not respecting the desires of your loved one or a will or trust is legally invalid, it is important to speak to our attorneys for legal counsel right away. Waiting or trying to handle the dispute on your own can lead to greater issues and challenges, as well as wasted money and harm to your relationships with relatives. Contacting our attorneys from the beginning places your complicated legal issue in the hands of an experienced and reputable professional.

How to Contest a Trust in Denver, Colorado

If you wish to contest a trust or trustee, start the process by contacting an attorney. This can give you the information and trustworthy advice that you need to move forward with the legal process. First, you must be an individual who has an interest in the trust, such as an heir, trustee, family member or creditor. Then, you must act as quickly as possible to initiate the contest. In Colorado, the statute of limitations (deadline) on contesting a trust is three years of the date of death. However, it can be shorter, in some cases.

Next, you must identify the grounds on which you are contesting a trust, as well as gather evidence to support your claim. If you are contesting a trust on the grounds that the creator of the trust was incapacitated at the time of its creation, for example, you or your lawyer will need to gather evidence that proves the invalidity of the trust based on this claim.

Once you are given a court date for your trust contest hearing, you and your attorney can prepare for the hearing by going over what to expect and how you plan on proving that what you are claiming is more likely to be true than not true. Your lawyer can help you obtain copies of all relevant documents, including the trust document, as well as other evidence and documentation to support your claim. Your lawyer can also file legal paperwork for you and advise you on the best strategy to use.

A good trust litigation attorney in Denver, Colorado, can guide you throughout the entire legal process while answering your questions and advocating for your best interests. If your case does not reach a settlement, your attorney should be prepared to go to probate court to try your case, if necessary. If a judge rules in your favor during a trust contest case, the original trust document will be invalid, and the estate will be distributed according to a prior trust instrument or Colorado’s intestate succession laws.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today

A Denver trust litigation attorney at Colorado Estate Matters, Ltd. are skilled at successfully resolving various types of trust disputes on behalf of our clients. Let’s discuss your options for resolving your trust dispute during an initial case evaluation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 713-9147 or email us using our convenient online contact form.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village, Englewood, Centennial, Wheat Ridge, Golden and Arvada.

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