One of the primary reasons people create Trusts are to avoid probate court. In Michigan, when the Settlor (the person who executed a revocable living Trust) dies, there is generally no need to register the Trust with the probate court, and property is able to quickly and efficiently pass to the beneficiaries.
However, there are still times that the court’s involvement is necessary to resolve Trust disputes. The probate court is the appropriate forum when disputes arise. MCL 700.1302 and MCL 700.7203 provides that the Michigan probate court has exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings initiated by persons concerning the validity and affairs of all Trusts. These statutes provide the legal basis for filing a Trust dispute proceeding in the probate court.
Some scenarios in which there may be a need to commence a Trust dispute file, to supervise its administration, or to compel the Trustee to do something are:
- The Trust was executed while the person was under undue influence, mental incapacity, duress, fraud, or some other defect.
- The trustee is not giving the Trust beneficiary(s) adequate information.
- The Trustee is not administering the Trust properly.
- There is a dispute about how to divide or distribute the Trust assets.
- Assets were improperly titled at the time of death (joint ownership, pay on death beneficiaries, or not titled in the Trust).
- Allegations of fraud or self-dealing against the Trustee.
When Trust disputes arise, The Probate Pro’s team of experienced litigation attorneys can represent trustees, personal representatives, and beneficiaries in probate and trust litigation. If you are faced with litigation involving a Trust, whether as a Trust beneficiary, trustee of the Trust, or as a creditor, The Probate Pro can confidently represent your interest.