Unless you are both the trustee and sole beneficiary of a trust, being a trustee can be a very difficult and thankless job. Trustees have a responsibility to follow the terms of the trust and protect the interests of the beneficiaries. But, beneficiaries, co-trustees, or creditors may contest your actions as trustee because they feel you did not fulfill your obligations.
Trustees can be sued as an individual or as part of the trust. Nevada law specifies exactly how trusts should be administered, duties of a trustee, and how to file a claim against a trustee. If you are a trustee that has been sued, you may have several options for resolving the matter.An experienced Nevada estate and trust attorney can help you determine which option is best for your circumstances.
Resolving Trust Law Suits by Litigation, Arbitration or Settlements
Nevada law recognizes that disputes among beneficiaries, creditors, and trustees may arise. If you are a trustee that has been sued, you should discuss your options with a knowledgeable Las Vegas trust and estate lawyer. You may be able to have the dispute resolved by:
- Discussion. Because trust documents can be ambiguous and trust law is very complex, the beneficiary who is suing you may not understand what a trustee can and cannot do. Sometimes a simple discussion among the parties (after consulting with your attorney) can clarify expectations of all parties.
- Arbitration. Some trusts have provisions that require binding arbitration to resolve disputes. If a lawsuit has been filed, the probate court may also recommend arbitration. The arbitration guidelines may include provisions for procedures, county where dispute resolution will take place, scope, burden of proof, confidentiality, time period, allocation of payment for professional fees and expenses and other guidelines. Dispute resolution via arbitration is binding on all parties.
- Settlement. A non-judicial settlement agreement may be negotiated among the parties to resolve disputes involving investment of assets, lending/borrowing money, modification of the trust document, interpreting the trust document, trust reporting or accounting, powers of a trustee, trustee compensation, and termination of a trust. Settlements are decided by the parties and approved by the court.
- Litigation. Sometimes the best or only option is having the lawsuit decided in the Clark County or other Nevada probate court.
If you are a trustee that has been sued, an experienced Nevada estate and trust attorney can help you determine which of these options apply in your specific circumstances.
Our Las Vegas Attorneys Help Trustees Defend Against Law Suits
Our Nevada trust and estate attorneys help trustees protect their interests during dispute resolution or litigation. RLK provides our clients better service because we focus only on trusts and estates. We have decades of experience defending trustees against lawsuits. Within this legal niche, RLK ranks among the top firms in Las Vegas.If you have a trust or estate issue, call us at (702) 255-4552 or contact us online.