South Carolina Will and Trust Disputes

Will and trust disputes can happen due to poor drafting, fraud, or many other reasons. If you have a will contest or trust dispute case, you should consult an estate planning attorney for legal assistance.

Will Contests

Wills can be contested for various reasons. However, they can’t be contested simply because a family member was disinherited or doesn’t like the inheritance they received.

There will need to be a basis for declaring the will legally invalid, such as:

  • Fraud
  • Undue influence
  • Forged documents or signatures
  • Lack of mental capacity

Some situations are more likely to result in a will contest, such as when one child is disinherited or a non-relative receives a large inheritance. The disinherited individuals can bring a will contest seeking to have the will invalidated upon the grounds listed above.

You’ll need evidence to support these claims. If proven correct, the decedent’s assets may be passed under the terms of a prior will are under South Carolina intestacy laws.

Trust Disputes

Trust disputes can occur when trustees fail to complete their duties or questions of interpretation need to be settled. The trustee has a fiduciary duty and can be sued for breaching this high legal standard.

In some cases, trust beneficiaries become upset when a trustee denies discretionary distributions. Trustees may also make errors or invest the trust assets poorly, leaving less principal or income for the beneficiary. Whether your facts support a breach of fiduciary duty or other claims will depend on the language in your trust and the facts or your case.

Other cases involve two trust beneficiaries with opposing interests. For example, one beneficiary may have a life estate, while the other receives the remaining trust assets when the first beneficiary passes away. The remainder beneficiary may wish to preserve assets, while the life estate beneficiary wants to maximize the current use of the property.

Trustees have to handle these difficult situations by following the trust terms and abiding by their fiduciary duties. Beneficiaries may seek to have the trustee removed or to have the trust modified or terminated.

If you have a South Carolina will contest or trust dispute, contact an estate planning attorney to discuss your case.

At King Law Office, we offer estate planning and litigation services. Come visit us at one of our multiple office locations in North and South Carolina.

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