A trust is a legal document that lasts 21 years under the law here in the state of California. While it’s mostly drafted with the assistance of a qualified trust attorney, there are times when some individuals undertake this task on their own, and that’s when it’s deemed invalid.
First, let’s check out the basic requirements of a trust.
Basic Requirements of a Trust
California statutes dictate a set criterion for valid trusts. Breaching any of the following can lead to the trust being deemed invalid:
- Mental capacity, meaning they should be legally sane and over 18.
- Trust must contain lawful provisions.
- The Trustee must be the legal owner of the assets mentioned in the trust.
- Beneficiaries must have the right to receive the assets.
- Laid out in writing.
- Funded with valuable assets.
- An end date during which the intent of the trust has to be met, or it’s deemed invalid.
Au Contraire: Signs of An Invalid Trust
Even though the requirements mentioned above are the most basic of basics, let’s consider what may happen if the opposite happened to be true.
Diminished Mental Capacity
You’d think forged signatures would disqualify a trust deed, but something as vague as capacity? Surely not? Actually, both are enough to void a trust. The former because it’s obviously a criminal offense, but the latter may not be this black and white.
Trusts are deemed invalid when the trustee’s capacity to make decisions was quite severely diminished at the time of its drafting. However, that doesn’t mean those in the early stages of a progressive illness should just go ahead with the trust because it can always get contested in court at a later date.
Lack of Personal Intent
When it comes to wills and trusts, the legal system has made it a point to protect the trustee’s rights, which includes voiding any trusts they modify or create with a lack of personal and abundance of external intent.
Coercion and influence are two forms of this external intent, and while they usually come from the immediate and extended family, there are instances where a caretaker, friend, or new acquaintance have been the driving force behind a trust modification or creation.
Contest a Will or Trust with Lawyers in Chico, CA
As a beneficiary of a will or trust, you stand to lose a lot if your inheritance is deemed invalid. If you suspect any of the aforementioned eligibility requirements being violated, get in touch with our estate planning and probate attorney stat! Let them advise you on how to protect the trustee’s deed and their rights.