In Mississippi a trust serves as a legal arrangements where the creator names a trustee who holds the legal title to property and manages the property for the benefit of a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries. The trust agreement specifies how the property should be managed. For example, it may specify under what circumstances property can be distributed to beneficiaries. The trustee’s role is significant. It is mandatory that the trustee perform their duties with the utmost care and honesty. Failure to do so is not merely negligence. It may be a violation of law resulting in serious legal consequences. While the actions of a trustee may give rise to litigation, there are many other reasons for disputes related to a trust. Whether you are a trustee or a beneficiary, an experienced Mississippi trust litigation lawyer should be contacted if you have concerns related to the construction, management, or creation of a trust.
Common Reasons for Trust Disputes in Mississippi
There are many reasons that trust litigation to develop.
- Disputes over different interpretations of a trust agreement. This is referred to a construction action. When language is vague or open to conflicting interpretation, the court may have to step and determine the intent of the trust creator.
- Disputes over the validity of a trust. This is referred to as a trust contest. Trust contests can based on allegations of undue influence, lack of capacity, or lack of proper execution, coercion, or fraud.
- Disputes over trustee accounting. Trustees are required to file accountings. A beneficiary can challenge an accounting.
- Breach of fiduciary duty. If a beneficiary believes that the trustee is not doing job as required by the trust agreement or by law, they can petition the court to have the trustee removed.
- Challenging investment decisions. The trustee is required to invest trust properly prudent. Allegation of negligent investment decision can be the basis of trust litigation.
These are just a few reasons for trust litigation. If you are concerned about any aspect of trust that you have an interest in, contact an experienced Mississippi trust litigation lawyer
Legal Standing to Initiate Trust Litigation in Mississippi
Family disputes are frequently emotionally charged. Many people family members have opinions. Even family friends sometimes get involved and take sides. While there are many people who may want to rush to court and file a petition so that they can be heard, only a few people have the legal right to petition the court to address a problem that they see. Those people have legal standing.
Legal standing means that the party has a sufficient relationship to the issue or controversy. When it comes to an estate matter such as a trust dispute, typically the party must have a financial interests. Thus, beneficiaries have standing to bring cases related to challenging the fiduciary’s actions. Trustees have legal standing to bring practically in other actions related to the trust. For example, a trustee would have standing to sue third parties on behalf of the trust. If you have questions related to standing, contact an experienced trust litigation attorney in Mississippi.
Consequences of Trust Litigation in Mississippi
The consequences of trust litigation in Mississippi depends on the outcome of the litigation as well as the type of litigation. If a beneficiary, for example, initiates a breach of fiduciary duty case naming the trustee as a defendant, if the court finds that there was a breach, the consequence could be serious, including removal of the trust and a substantial surcharge. While it is rare, there have been instances in which trustees have faced criminal charges. Contact an experienced trust litigation attorney serving Mississippi to discuss your case.