Matthew Talbot and his team have extensive experience with Probate and Trust litigation. Litigation can be an emotional process, especially when family members are fighting over their legacy. Our first priority is always getting the best results possible for our clients. We have successfully litigated numerous Trust matters and achieved stellar results for our clients.
Matthew has successfully litigated trust matters for clients in Contra Costa County, Alameda County, and the surrounding Bay Area. His first priority is advocating for the interests of his clients, and resolving their concerns in a way that leads to the best possible outcome. Whenever possible, mediating disputes is his first focus. This often works in the best interest of the client, whether they are a trustee, beneficiary, or other person who may have rights to trust assets. As an experienced trust and estate litigation attorney, Matthew will guide you through each of your legal options, provide sound legal advice and counsel, and always put your interests first.
Do you need a Trust Litigation Attorney?
A trust litigation attorney is necessary when interpretation issues exist, if a trust was not properly set up, if the trustee is not fulfilling their duties, if the validity of a trust or amendment is in question, undue influence or elder abuse occurred, and/or any of the following:
Disputed Claims for or against the trust
Validity of trust is in question
Interpretation of trust
Validity of Amendments to trust in question
It is necessary to Remove a Trustee
Undue Influence was applied
The Grantor of the Trust lacked Capacity
Disputes between beneficiaries
Trustee misappropriates funds (theft, risky investment, etc)
Trust Litigation & Fiduciary Responsibility
Under California Law, the Trustee has many duties and obligations to the Trust they preside over. Being a trustee is a significant responsibility, and when a trustee fails to live up to their duties, litigation can ensue. California Law dictates that "the trustee has a duty to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries."
If and when a beneficiary believes the trustee is not acting in their best interest, they can take legal action to remove the trustee, or resolve the issue through other legal means. It is my responsibility as your trust litigation attorney to defend your interests and find a resolution that gives you peace of mind. I work to do this in the most efficient way possible, to minimize litigation and costs. I have found that even in the most heated trust litigation matters, a settlement can often be reached prior to a case going to court.
Read more about the duties of a trustee.
Trust Litigation can occur because of actual, real fraud or misconduct on the part of the trustee, or it can occur because of misunderstandings and lack of communication between the trustee and beneficiaries and other persons who have interest in the trust. A lawyer who specializes in Trust Litigation can help you determine your options to best resolve your matter.
Examples of trustee misconduct include:
not communicating effectively with beneficiaries
failing to carry out routine activities or duties
mismanaging real estate and other property
failing to pay bills associated with trust
not providing routine accounting
inappropriately selling or liquidating trust assets
transferring assets to non-beneficiaries
stealing from the trust
Trust Litigation Due to Financial Elder Abuse
Two Ways to Invalidate a Trust or Trust Amendment: Lack of Capacity and Undue Influence
Matthew explains how showing lack of capacity or undue influence can invalidate a trust that has become irrevocable.