Can you challenge a trust in Michigan?

| Jul 27, 2020 | Estate Administration & Probate, Trusts |

When planning an estate, choosing to create a trust can be a sure way of protecting assets. Planners may choose to draft revocable or irrevocable trusts. In Michigan, there are circumstances that dictate whether a person may challenge a trust. If you are wondering whether you or another party have cause to challenge a trust, it may help you to know some pertinent details regarding Michigan trusts.

Who is proposing to contest the trust?

I trust cannot be challenged by just anyone. In Michigan, you must either be a beneficiary of the trust or hold one of the following relationships with the decedent upon their death intestate:

  • Children
  • Spouse
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents

It is possible a sibling may also have standing for challenging a trust in Michigan. If you are a sibling of the deceased, you may need to speak with your attorney to learn more about your options.

How long do I have to challenge a trust?

For those with standing to challenge, there are time limits for contesting validity. You must challenge the validity within two years of your loved one’s death or within sixth months of receiving notice of the trust’s existence.

Furthermore, you will need to have grounds for the challenge and to provide evidence of invalidity. Common reasons a trust may become invalid include undue influence, fraud or lack of capacity. Undue influence occurs when pressure or manipulation influences the creation or signing of the trust. A probate court will investigate the claim of the challenger.