A living trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to designate another person or entity (trustee) to manage specific assets on behalf of your loved ones. And if you get it right, a living trust can offer a myriad of benefits such as bypassing probate and ensuring that your finances and personal records remain private. It can also give you control over your assets long after your demise.
For a living trust to be enforced, however, it has to be valid. In other words, a living trust that falls short of certain requirements can be challenged and invalidated by the court. But when exactly can this happen?
Possible instances when your living trust can be contested
An interested party cannot simply challenge your trust out of the blue They must have valid grounds for doing so. Here are common instances when someone can successfully challenge your living trust in Minnesota:
When they have evidence of undue influence – even when you were of sound mind when signing the trust, the court may invalidate it if there is evidence that someone unduly influenced you to create the document in a particular way. To argue undue influence, the contesting party needs to prove the following elements: that there was a confidential relationship between you and the alleged influencer, that your judgment was influenced by some form of pressure or coercion and that the influencing party gained substantially or would have gained from the trust.
When they have evidence of fraud – fraud happens when you are tricked or deceived into signing the living trust without full knowledge of what you are appending your signature on. Likewise, a forged trust can be contested and invalidated.
Protecting your interests
There are many valid reasons why you may want to include a living trust in your estate plan. Understanding how Minnesota trust laws work can help safeguard your interests and protect your trust from potential disputes.