Hawai‘i Life. Hawai‘i Law.

black-sand beach at Isaac Hale Park
  1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Estate Planning
  4.  | Contesting a Living Trust: Here Is Why It Happens

Contesting a Living Trust: Here Is Why It Happens

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2022 | Estate Planning

Creating a living trust can be a painstaking process. Done right, you and your loved one can reap a variety of benefits from your living. However, if you are going to invest your time and effort into drawing up a living trust document, it helps to come to terms with the possibility that someone can challenge it.

While a living trust comes with terms (trust instruments) that articulate what the beneficiaries are entitled to and when they can receive their inheritance, those very terms can also form the basis for its contestation. And if the challenge is successful, your trust document (or the contested sections) can be invalidated. 

Common reasons why your living trust can be contested

To successfully contest a trust, you must start by having valid grounds for the contestation. Here are grounds upon which you can contest a trust in Hawaii. 

  • Undue influence – This happens when the grantor was excessively persuaded to make significant changes to their trust. An example would be creating a trust while under influence or while under duress
  • Lack of testamentary capacity – This happens when the grantor does not have the mental competence to execute the trust, such as when they are suffering from dementia.
  • Fraud – This happens when the grantor is deceived or tricked into signing trust documents without knowledge of what they are signing
  • Forgery – A living trust can also be contested if it is established that it was forged. This can refer to the forgery of the entire document or the grantor’s signature. 
  • Mistake – Mistakes committed by the grantor while creating the trust can also lead to its contestation and subsequent invalidation. 

Including a living trust in your estate plan can be beneficial in a variety of ways. Find out how you can protect your trust document from contestation and the possibility of its invalidation.

Notice: We are providing this as general information only, and it should not be considered legal advice, which depends on the facts of each specific situation. Receipt of this content does not establish an attorney-client relationship.