Overview to Trusts and Trust Disputes
What is a trust? Most trusts are one of the leading two methods of passing one person’s property to another person – typically at death. The other, perhaps more common method, is the Last Will and Testament. Most clients of our Dallas law firm know what a Will is, but many are not as familiar with trusts. Distinguishing these two estate planning tools helps define what they are.
A Will is a document that, while revocable during a person’s lifetime, becomes effective upon their death and only takes on legal significance when the document is admitted to probate by a judge. Trusts work differently. They are relationship-based. Maybe a Will leaves $1 million outright to an adult child. A trust might leave the same $1 million to a friend (as trustee) to hold for the benefit of the adult child, with instructions on how and when to distribute the money to the adult child. The person making the trust has just created a relationship that carries with it significant legal effects. The friend (the trustee) is legally responsible for the $1 million, and he owes the adult child (the beneficiary) very strict legal obligations that we call fiduciary duties. On the other hand, the beneficiary has certain rights that he can enforce against the trustee to ensure that the trustee acts appropriately.
How Our Trust Attorneys Can Help
Burdette & Rice is one of the largest trust litigation / dispute law firms in Texas, with our main office in Dallas and a satellite office in Plano, Texas. At Burdette & Rice, we see trust disputes arise among family members. The dispute can arise between the person who makes the trust (called a settlor or trustor), the trustee (who is the person responsible for managing the trust), and/or the beneficiary (the person who receives property from the trust). Trust disputes can come from a trustee who is not managing the trust property lawfully, whether that means not investing wisely or in stealing trust funds. Trust disputes can also arise from a trustee who is not treating the trust beneficiaries equally and fairly.
If you, a family member or loved one have a concern related to a trust dispute under Texas law, you may have specific legal rights, options and obligations. Contact our Dallas-based law firm and one of our trust dispute attorneys today to learn more about your situation. With a main office in North Dallas and a satellite in Plano, Texas, our trust dispute lawyers can easily meet with you to discuss your potential litigation or dispute. Our trust dispute attorneys help both residents of Texas and those living outside of Texas who are facing potential trust disputes or trust litigation.