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trust disputes

Trust disputes and litigation can arise in Wisconsin when conflicts occur between beneficiaries, trustees, or other interested parties over the administration or interpretation of a trust. These disputes can be complicated and emotionally charged, often requiring legal intervention to resolve them. 

Individuals involved in or considering trust agreements need to understand the common issues that lead to trust disputes and the available legal remedies. Here are a few essential things to know about trust disputes in Wisconsin.

Challenges to Trustee Actions

Trust disputes often arise from challenges to the actions of a trustee. Beneficiaries may question investment choices, distributions, or the management of trust assets. Trustees in Wisconsin are required by law to act in the best interests of beneficiaries and exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence. Legal remedies may be sought if a beneficiary believes a trustee breached these duties or acted improperly.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

If a trustee fails to meet their obligations, it may damage the trust or its beneficiaries, leading to a breach of fiduciary duty. In Wisconsin, beneficiaries have the right to sue a trustee for violations such as: 

  • Self-dealing
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Negligence
  • Mismanagement of trust assets

Both parties will present evidence, and the court will evaluate whether the trustee’s actions violated their fiduciary duties. If found guilty, the court may require the trustee to compensate the trust for any incurred losses or take other necessary measures.

Contested Trusts

Contesting a trust can cause disagreements and legal action. These types of contests usually involve disputes over the legitimacy or conditions of a trust document by claiming deceit, coercion, incapacity, or improper signing. In Wisconsin, beneficiaries or disinherited heirs can contest the trust. The court will assess the proof and decide if the trust should be canceled or altered based on the credibility of the allegations. 

Other Disputes

There may be other legal disputes involving a trust in Wisconsin. Sometimes, disagreements arise when there are different interpretations of trust provisions, identifying beneficiaries, or valuing trust assets. These issues may require the court to interpret the trust document and make decisions based on the grantor’s intent and state laws.

How to Prevent Legal Issues Involving Trusts

To prevent any of these issues, you will want to reach out to a legal professional to draft these trust documents. The grantor’s intentions should be clearly expressed, and trustees should be selected based on their skills and integrity to carry out their duties. Consistent and open communication between trustees and beneficiaries is also crucial to prevent misunderstandings and ensure the trust is managed following the grantor’s wishes.

Protect Your Trust by Contacting a Wisconsin Estate Planning Attorney

Disputes and legal battles related to trusts can occur due to various reasons. Seeking guidance from attorneys with experience in trust and estate litigation can assist in navigating the complexities of these trust disputes in Wisconsin. 

If you want to learn more about protecting your Wisconsin trust, reach out to the Collins Law Firm. Our team offers various services, including estate planning, administration, business, and elder law. We are honored to serve Southeastern Wisconsin and the Milwaukee region. Contact us to book your free and confidential consultation by calling (414)-207-6292.

Talk to someone about your estate plan today. Free and Confidential.

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