When a loved one or a family member passes away there can be a swirl of activity concerning their trust, will or status of their estate. The process can be seemingly cut and dried if the person left a valid will, trust doctrine or estate plan. However, even with these documents in place, it can still leave some questions as to the details of the trust administration or other estate plan or will. The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear the final appeal on the issue of trust contention and a disinherited person’s ability to contest.
Trust and probate litigation can be a very two-sided issue. Usually a party either wishes to contest and another party wishes that they wouldn’t contest. Depending on the details of the trust plan or other document, there could be grounds for contention. To contest a will would be to claim that the language, content or administration of such is otherwise invalid, or incorrect. The California Supreme court will decide if in Barefoot v. Jennings, if a disinherited person has the ability to contest a trust amendment.
In the appeals court, it was decided that it’s not a valid contention by a disinherited person. The California Supreme court will look to either affirm or overturn this decision by the appeals court. The results of the state’s highest court decision will impact probate in which a disinherited person can contest the findings in a trust plan.
Depending on which side of the issue you find yourself, you could be hoping for an affirmation of the appeals court decision or an overturn representing the trial court’s decision. The overturn could be based on facts presented by the trial court or if could be due to a new reexamination of the facts by the supreme court. Either way, it will change the face of how contention of trust administration is handled by a disinherited person.