Weinstein & Randisi
Toll free:800-768-1780

Resize the Content Text

Can a trust be challenged after the grantor has died?

Even if a deceased person made you sole heir and beneficiary of his or her trust prior to passing away, it is possible that the trust could be challenged in court. For example, if you had one sibling who was disinherited, that sibling may try to invalidate the trust in order to revert back to a previous will that included him or her as an heir. Or, if a valid will does not exist and the trust is invalidated, then the estate will need to be divided equally in accordance with New York intestacy laws.

Most attorneys who take on a trust contest case do so on a contingency fee basis, in which the lawyer will not receive payment unless a favorable result is obtained in the matter. However, a lot of lawyers take on these cases for the sole purpose of negotiating a settlement with the rightful heir.

It costs money to defend against a will or trust contest case -- even if it is a weak one. Therefore, in some situations, the goal is merely to obtain settlement money to make the case disappear and avoid the cost of litigation. Unfortunately, this type of legal extortion is not uncommon in New York estate cases.

Trust contest cases will be weak if the trust was created while the grantor was living independently and healthy many years ago, and if the grantor went to an estate planning lawyer and created the trust on his or her own. Trust contest cases will be much stronger in situations where the grantor was dependent on the person he or she left her estate to, went with that person to the attorney to create the trust, even selected the attorney on behalf of the grantor. The trust challenge will be even stronger if the grantor was living in an assisted living facility or had dementia when the trust was created.

Considering all this, if you want to disinherit a child, it is best to do it as early as possible. That way, the disinherited child cannot later challenge the trust or will by saying that it was made late in life when you were being influenced by someone else or were not of sound mind.

Source: Napa Valley Register, "It’s never too early to disinherit your children," Len Tillem and Rosie McNichol, Oct. 22, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
Awarded Top 50 Estate Planning Blog
Email Us For a Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Blog Feed


Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
Rochester Law Office Map


Call us now for a free, 100% confidential consultation: