Trust Dispute Attorneys

Trust disputes arise more frequently than you might expect. RMO Lawyers have experience navigating and resolving complex trust and will disputes, giving you full confidence in our ability to resolve yours efficiently and effectively. Whether you need support in mediation, negotiations, or courtroom litigation, our attorneys can help.

What is A Trust Dispute Attorney?

A trust dispute attorney is a lawyer who assists clients in navigating legal conflicts or disagreements surrounding the trust, including but not limited to:

  • Interpretation of the trust document
  • Lack of communication or transparency from trustee
  • Disagreements among beneficiaries, including what to do with properties and assets
  • Missing or inaccurate accountings
  • Allegations of trustee misconduct or breach of fiduciary duty
  • Challenges to the validity of the trust, or 
  • Claims of undue influence.

Trust dispute attorneys can support multiple parties, including trustees, beneficiaries, heirs, surviving spouses, and other interested parties. 

A trust dispute attorney serves as a guide in the legal process, offering experienced insight into the intricacies of trust law. Our attorneys are equipped to handle a wide range of trust-related disputes, from breach of fiduciary duty to disagreements between beneficiaries. They provide representation through legal processes and litigation that are often difficult to navigate alone, help you navigate trust disputes, and protect or fight for your inheritance.

What Does a Trust Dispute Attorney Do?

A trust dispute attorney serves several roles in trust litigation, from helping clients navigate complex legal matters surrounding trusts to resolving conflicts among beneficiaries and other parties. At RMO Lawyers, our attorneys are well-versed in a long list of potential trust issues, so you can expect support in the following areas.

Understanding Trust Disputes

Trust disputes can encompass a wide range of potential conflicts. Some of the most common include disagreements among beneficiaries, trustee mismanagement, and challenges to the validity of a trust document. Our skilled trust dispute attorneys at RMO Lawyers offer guidance in each of these areas.

Role of a Trust Disputes Attorney

An attorney can play a valuable part in disputes by offering support by conducting legal research, negotiating settlements, representing clients in court, and providing strategic advice to achieve a favorable outcome. Our attorneys at RMO Lawyers can also provide support in a range of additional areas, including trust administration and guidance on legal rights.

Experience and Qualifications

Trust attorneys must have a robust understanding of trust and estate law and fiduciary duties, as well as litigation experience and negotiation skills. Our attorneys at RMO Lawyers have experience in a range of areas surrounding trust litigation, probate disputes, and more, allowing us to navigate a wide range of potential cases and circumstances to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Trust disputes can be resolved through multiple potential avenues, including mediation, negotiation, and litigation. RMO Lawyers will support you in resolving your disputes using alternative methods to bring a smooth result and save time by keeping your case out of the courtroom.

Litigation Strategies

If disputes become too complex to resolve through mediation or negotiation, it may be necessary to take the dispute to court. Our team at RMO Lawyers will represent you in the courtroom by being prepared to present evidence for your case, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate for your rights.

Client Guidance and Communication

A trust dispute attorney should act as a partner in the process to help relieve stress and offer peace of mind. Our trust dispute attorneys at RMO Lawyers will ensure transparency and communication throughout the process so you understand your responsibilities and best practices to follow along the way.

Common Trust Disputes

Common trust disputes can range from concerns with trustee actions to disagreements between beneficiaries of a trust. Our trust dispute lawyers at RMO have the legal experience to help you navigate the following common trust disputes.

Trustee Mismanagement or Breach of Trust

Trust disputes can center around the trustee if the trustee does not seem to perform their job in alignment with their fiduciary duties. A fiduciary has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiaries. A breach of trust or a breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a trustee violates their fiduciary duties. The lawyers at RMO help raise concerns around trustee mismanagement or potential breach of fiduciary duty, provide evidence, and represent parties to preserve the interests of the settlor, or trust creator.

Beneficiary Rights and Entitlements

Beneficiaries have specific rights and entitlements to a trust’s assets. In some cases, beneficiaries may experience disputes around communication or lack thereof, issues with distributions, accounting transparency, or concerns about the decision-making process. Our attorneys will provide support and guidance through these disputes and more.

Contesting Trust Validity

Disputes can arise over the validity of a trust due to circumstances such as a creator’s lack of capacity, undue influence, or fraud. At RMO Lawyers, we’ll help resolve disputes over the validity of a trust by using strategies to verify its legitimacy and preserve the wishes of the settlor.

Interpretation of Trust Terms

In some instances, trust terms may leave room for ambiguity that can interfere with the administration process and spark disputes. We’ll use thoughtful strategies to interpret trust documents and negotiate favorable outcomes for clients that preserve the wishes and intentions of the settlor.

How can Trust Disputes be Resolved?

Litigation Strategies

Navigating a trust dispute may require several avenues depending on the unique circumstances and family dynamics of the case, including litigation. Seeking the probate court’s intervention to resolve disputes is often a good option for those dealing with bad actors. Our attorneys at RMO Lawyers are experienced litigators ready to fight your trust dispute in court. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution Options

Not all disputes need to proceed to court. Litigation can be costly in more than one way. Often the price includes money, time, and heartache.  Our lawyers will use strategies like mediation or arbitration to help you resolve disputes before they reach the courtroom, saving you time and stress so you can achieve a more desirable outcome sooner, often for less legal spend than involving the court. 

Preventative Measures and Risk Mitigation

The right preventative measures can help you stay in front of trust disputes to prevent them entirely. Our trust dispute and trust administration attorneys utilize best practices to reduce the chances of disputes, like regular communication throughout the process and thorough documentation at each step.

When Should I Contact A Trust Dispute Attorney?

The appropriate circumstances for contacting a trust dispute attorney depend on your individual goals and facts of the case. However, if a dispute arises surrounding circumstances in a trust or will, it’s a good practice to consult a trust dispute attorney so that you have a clear understanding of your rights and options.

You should contact a trust dispute attorney in the following situations:

  • There are concerns over the interpretation or validity of a trust document
  • A dispute arises over the distribution of funds
  • A party contests the trust’s validity due to lack of capacity or another concern
  • Questions arise over the trustee’s conduct or interests
  • You feel that there has been a breach of fiduciary duty

These situations offer a good template to follow, but ultimately, if you experience any disagreements or conflict surrounding the trust administration process. A trust dispute attorney will offer the support and guidance needed to navigate these disagreements and outline potential next steps so you don’t have to handle them alone.

Our Case Results

RMO has a proven track record of protecting people and defending legacies.

Summary Adjudication of Disinherited Beneficiary’s Trust Contest
Swiftly secured the dismissal of a trust contest of a disgruntled, disinherited trust beneficiary on a motion after strategically allowing the trust contest period to expire before serving a notice of proposed action to distribute trust assets to the trust’s remaining beneficiaries and nothing to the disinherited beneficiary.
Secured Family’s Business Legacy
Representing the successor family trustee, secured the generational family business for the decedent’s heirs by acquiring from a disgruntled beneficiary their interest in the family business on extremely favorable terms that will allow the family to continue operating the family business for future generations to come.
Defense of Financial Elder Abuse Claim Against Surviving Spouse Trustee
Successfully defended a surviving spouse trustee against financial elder abuse and other claims made by family members who said she had fraudulently transferred assets to herself from her late husband’s trust and estate.
Prevented Trustee Removal for Badly-Lawyered Trust Accounting
Staved off suspension, removal and surcharge for a trustee who had failed to properly or timely provide court-ordered trust accountings to trust beneficiaries and was staring down an imminent deadline, as well as suspension, removal and surcharge.
Trustee Removal for Fraud
Neutralized and secured removal of a hostile co-trustee who was attempting to bilk our client’s trust of millions of dollars through a series of fabricated claims.
Thieving Trustee Removed and Surcharged
Secured removal of a thieving co-trustee daughter whose malfeasance left her own mother destitute and unable to pay her bills, including recovery of the stolen assets, attorney fees and costs.
Trust Beneficiary Dispute Squashed & Partition Avoided
Swooped in on behalf of an institutional trustee after years of protracted litigation to secure a decision from the Los Angeles probate court to end a years-long dispute between feuding siblings over the distribution of their parents’ estate, avoiding distribution of assets in-kind, which would have only resulted in partition.
Sub-Trust Allocations Defended
Client’s mother survived step-dad and succeeded him as trustee of their family trust. After mom passed, step-dad’s children alleged she had improperly allocated trust assets to favor her survivor’s trust, which went to our client, over the marital trust, which went to step-dad’s children. Using historic appraisals and valuations, demonstrated the disputed allocation was reasonable, resolving the dispute.
Inept Trustee Removed & Client Appointed Successor Trustee to Save Estate
Non-responsive and ineffective trustee who had done little to nothing to administer the trust or protect trust assets from waste following decedent’s passing was removed and our client appointed as successor trustee by the probate court, avoiding further damage.
Racist Trustee Removed and Surcharged
Removed and obtained surcharge of a non-beneficiary family trustee who hurled racial epthets at our client, refused to account, and tried to sell the house intended for our sole trust beneficiary client out of spite, securing the home for our client and her family.
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Who Can Hire a Trust Dispute Attorney?

Because trust disputes are complex, several parties can benefit from the support and representation of a trust dispute attorney. At RMO Lawyers, we serve all the following clients in navigating trust disputes.


A trustee has an important responsibility to handle the procedures of trust administration, which can lead to potential disputes. Our attorneys help trustees navigate potential conflicts as well as understand their fiduciary duties to help prevent disagreements from arising in the first place.


Trust beneficiaries and heirs frequently find themselves at the center of trust disputes. Beneficiaries may face conflicts like a dispute over their entitlement to trust assets or a breach of fiduciary duty. Our lawyers will help beneficiaries and heirs resolve disputes to secure a fair distribution of assets in line with the trust’s intentions.


Creditors are anyone to whom a decedent owed money at the time of their death. If these debts are not resolved, disputes between the creditors and the estate could occur. RMO Lawyers can represent creditors and provide guidance so that they can recover any money they’re owed.


If your conservatee or ward has passed, legal representation can provide support against disputes from trustees or beneficiaries. RMO Lawyers can help you understand your responsibilities as a conservator or guardian and navigate any disputes that may arise from other parties regarding the conservatee or ward’s estate.


Spouses often have special inheritance rights and benefits regarding trusts and probate, which can make them the target of disputes. RMO Lawyers will work with spouses to help them understand these rights and navigate any potential challenges from other beneficiaries or family members.


Be advised that the RMO Client Relations Team will reach out prior to your scheduled time, as our policy requires that we gather additional information concerning the parties to your case before we can confirm your consultation. In the event that we are unable to reach you, regrettably, we will need to cancel your requested consultation.

Communication Disclaimer

Please note that communications by you to RMO LLP or any of its lawyers through this website do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send any privileged or confidential information to the firm through this website or otherwise until instructed in writing from us to do so. 

FAQs About Trust Disputes Law

Trust disputes can arise from a myriad of situations, but some of the most common reasons we see at RMO include:

  • Mismanagement of Trust Assets: Individuals believe the trustees are not managing the trust assets properly or are not acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
  • Lack of Communication: Individuals turn to RMO when they must compel a trustee to provide accounting or trust documents.
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty: If beneficiaries believe trustees have breached this duty by acting in their own interests or making decisions that harm the beneficiaries, they turn to RMO to dispute the trustee’s actions. Alternatively, we represent trustees who have been wrongly accused of a breach of fiduciary duty to set the record straight. 
  • Disagreements Over Distributions: Beneficiaries often disagree with how trust assets are distributed, particularly if they feel they are not receiving their fair share or if they disagree with the trustee’s distribution decisions.
  • Interpretation of Trust Terms: Many disputes arise over the interpretation of trust terms, particularly if the language in the trust document is unclear or ambiguous.
  • Allegations of Undue Influence or Fraud: Beneficiaries dispute the validity of a trust if they believe the trust was created as a result of undue influence or fraud. Trustees also seek out our representation to defend such a claim. 
  • Trust Challenges: Beneficiaries may dispute the validity of the trust itself, alleging that it was not properly executed for a variety of reasons. We frequently represent both beneficiaries and trustees in these claims.

Trustees and beneficiaries do not necessarily have greater or fewer rights than one another, however, the rights and powers that they do have are different. The differences in their rights and powers are necessary checks and balances to ensure that Trustees do not take advantage of their position and that Beneficiaries do not try to take power over other Beneficiaries or take over the position of Trustee.

Trustees possess significant powers in managing trusts, with the specifics of their authority often outlined within the trust instrument itself.

While trustees wield considerable more authority in administering trusts and overseeing the process, they are obligated by fiduciary duty to prioritize the interests of the trust beneficiaries. 

Beneficiaries typically have limited influence over trust management but retain the entitlement to receive their designated allocations. However, when an issue arises, beneficiaries have the right to assert a claim.

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