My brother was named as trustee and the estate split equally between all siblings. However, One UNsigned document grants him (my brother and Trustee) 100% of stock. Is that contestable?
You need to consult with an attorney to review the facts and the declaration of trust for an answer to this question. It is not possible to opine on the validity of a no contest clause without knowing the facts and reviewing the declaration of trust.
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You should consult with a trust attorney. Although one cannot generally "get around" a no contest clause, the strength or reach of a no contest clause depends on when the trust became irrevocable, the language of the no contest clause, and the action or challenge you want to bring. A no contest clause in a trust that became irrevocable after January 1, 2001 is generally much less powerful than one in a trust that became irrevocable before January 1, 2001 because of a change in California law. Also, a no contest clause is not triggered by a beneficiary questioning an act of the trustee. Again, you should sit down with a trust attorney for more definitive advice.
The above answer is a general response posted in a public forum. The above answer is not to be considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. The above answer does not create an attorney client relationship. You should consult an attorney for specific legal advice as to your individual situation.
More information is needed to answer your questions.
It may be that your issues do not require a contest at all. No contest clauses are strictly construed and not favored in California law. The changes in California law applicable to trusts that became irrevocable after 2000 that Ms. Galati informs you about reduce the effect of such clause. So it is quite possible that what your questioning will not constitute a contest.
It also may be that a contest of the unsigned document would not constitute a contest of the trust as set forth in the signed document and you could challenge it without fear of losing any rights under the other trust documents.
As advised by attorneys Galati and Daymude, you need to consult with an attorney to review the documents and facts to obtain an answer to your questions.
This office is licensed to practice law only in the state of California. The answer provided above is for general information only, is not intended and should not be taken as specific legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship with the party making the inquiry.
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