A trust is simply a relationship in which one person holds title to property for the benefit of another. Typically, the trust relationship is documented in a written trust agreement, although sometimes that is not the case.
The person in charge of the trust is called the trustee. The trustee owes several strict legal duties as a “fiduciary” to any beneficiary of the trust, including duties of competency, loyalty, and full disclosure. Generally speaking, the trustee must always put the beneficiary’s interests first, even to the trustee’s own detriment. Commonly enough, this often leads to problems between the trustee and the beneficiary.
Trusts can be a great estate planning tool, whether they are created while the creator is still alive or upon the creator’s death. We can help you resolve any disputes that may arise once a trust has been created. Sometimes, this involves advising a trustee accused of wrongdoing. Other times, we may be helping a beneficiary pursue claims against a trustee for failing to do what is right.