Experienced Enid Trust Litigation Attorneys Resolve Complicated Cases
Oklahoma law firm represents beneficiaries challenging trustees’ management
A trust can be a particularly useful estate planning tool, allowing for control and distribution of property while achieving tax advantages for the grantor and the beneficiaries. But when a trust is flawed in its creation or is poorly managed, the intended beneficiaries may suffer. At Long, Claypole & Blakley Law, PLC in Enid, Oklahoma, we handle litigation and conflict resolution when disputes arise over the validity of trust documents or the propriety of actions taken by the trustee.
Skilled Garfield County litigators handle breach of fiduciary duty cases
The trustee — the person or institution in charge of managing the assets of a trust — is considered a fiduciary. That means they have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries. Breach of fiduciary duty may result from a trustee’s misbehavior involving:
- Self-interest — This type of breach may arise when a trustee over-compensates himself or invests the trust’s assets in a way that benefits his own business interests.
- Failure to disclose — A trustee must share with beneficiaries all information about his own accounts and activities that could create a conflict of interest with his management of the estate. A conflict of interest that goes undisclosed could eventually become a cause for litigation.
- Negligence — A trustee must act with care and prudence when managing estate assets. If he invests without first performing research or seeking advice from a professional, his actions may harm beneficiaries. Poor accounting can also lead to serious financial problems.
- Willful acts — Fraud and theft can also be claimed by beneficiaries who have been wronged by a trustee.
If a trustee is found to have breached his fiduciary duty, beneficiaries may be owed damages for lost profits, attorney fees and other expenses. Property withheld by the trustee may be ordered transferred to the beneficiary, and other court orders may be made to restore justice.
Determined lawyers seek to invalidate fraudulently made trusts
A trust may be invalid from its creation if the grantor was under undue influence from a third party when the trust was established. Persuasion, manipulation or duress may have caused the grantor to neglect certain beneficiaries while favoring others. Our attorneys perform in-depth investigation to support undue influence claims. We may show that the instructions for the trust are inconsistent with the grantor’s demonstrated interests or that a person who benefitted from the trust took advantage of his relationship with the grantor.
A grantor’s lack of mental capacity may also be a basis for challenging a trust document. To make informed decisions about his assets, a grantor must possess an understanding of his property, his personal relationships and the potential effects of his decisions. A person who suffers from mental illness, addiction or mental degeneration at the time that he creates the trust may lack the necessary capacity and the trust may be unenforceable.
Our attorneys fight on behalf of clients who are negatively impacted by unlawfully created trusts. We also advise clients on how to develop strong trust documents that are resistant to future challenges.
Contact accomplished Enid estate attorneys for help resolving trust disputes
Our Oklahoma trust litigators are caring and determined. If you believe trust assets are being misused, contact Long, Claypole & Blakley Law, PLC in Enid. We represent individuals throughout Garfield County. Call us at 580-599-0191 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with a dedicated lawyer.