Litigation & Contested Matters

Trust/Estate/Conservatorship Litigation is the process of handling disputes through the court system. This involves much more than just going to court. Our office deal with all aspects of wills/trusts litigation, from beginning to end.

1. Trust Administration

Some of the most common issues we see in representing Trustees are as follows:

  • Beneficiary fails to reply either verbally or in writing
  • Beneficiary will not communicate about the accounting or waiver of accounting
  • Beneficiary will not provide their tax information
  • Beneficiary living in the house either paying or not paying rent

Our office can help by making the demands and filing the necessary petitions to ensure the information is received. Likewise, we can file the necessary petitions to get the distribution from the trustee if it has not been done.

2. Beneficiary

Some issue we commonly see representing a beneficiary are:

  • The Trustee believes that since they are the Trustee, they can do whatever they want
  • The Trustee won’t provide any information
  • Trustee won’t communicate
  • Trustee won’t provide an accounting
  • Trustee won’t distribute trust money
  • Trustee won’t move out of the family home
  • Trustee won’t pay rent

Trustees are fiduciaries. This means that a Trustee must exercise the utmost care in administering the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary. They cannot act for their own self benefit at the expense of the beneficiaries.

We have seen situations where the Trustee’s misunderstanding of their duties results in the dereliction of their duties and other situations where they have simply ignored them.

The Law Office of Matthew C Yu can help you through each of the scenarios.

3. Undue Influence/Elder Abuse – Vulnerable People

Unfortunately, undue influence and financial elder abuse issues are quite common. There are various types of undue influence and financial elder abuse. Some of the most common:

  • When a family member changes the estate plan late in life
  • Family theft or overreaching
  • Adding someone joint owner on bank account or house
  • Executing a power of attorney with a person who has questionable capacity
  • Isolating an elder
  • Withholding food, visitors or other necessities
  • Caregiver theft
  • Insurance and annuity salespersons

These are just a few of the possible types of financial elder abuse. If financial elder abuse is suspected, both before and/or after the person’s passing, our office can help.

4. Contested conservatorships

A conservatorship is established when the court determines that a person cannot take care of themselves or their money whether because they are unable to resist undue influence or fraud or if they lack capacity. While conservatorships can be uncontested, sometimes litigation is required. This litigation can be over the need for a conservatorship, who should be the conservator, or whether or not the documents executed are sufficient.

Contested conservatorships have become pre death litigation over the estates of parents and grandparents in recent years. Families have initiated litigation over their inheritance before the passing of their parents and grandparents.

5. Title Issues

Our office works closely with title companies when it is discovered that there is a cloud on title or title issue such as the seller not having the authority to sell because title has not been passed properly or disputes over who holds title to a particular piece of property. Often times, a realtor, title rep or escrow officer informs the client or realtor that there is a problem with title and that they cannot close escrow until this matter has been resolved. We are often contacted in situations like these to help resolve the issue. Although many of these situations cannot be immediately resolved, we can resolve them given enough time. Situations have arisen when:

  • A private money lender has died;
  • When co-owners of a house disagree about whether a house should be sold
  • A deceased person owns a house
  • An incapacitated person owns a house
  • Someone fraudulently transfers title into their name

Sometimes, a person goes to sell a house and finds that there is a title issue which keeps the sale from going through. In order to clear the title problem, our office can take the necessary actions.

Schedule an Appointment with The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu

The lawyers at The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu has years of experience in assistance with estate litigation and other contested matters for California residents. We are knowledgeable about the legal processes that you must complete to ensure desired financial and personal well-being. Call our office in Torrance, California, at 310-891-0016. Fill out our online contact form for a private consultation.