Chandler, AZ asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Estate Planning for Arizona

Q: If "Conflict Resolution" terms in a Trust are defined (arbitration) can the Trustee retain counsel and not adhere?

The beneficiaries (I am one) are disputing the final Accounting provided by the Trustee for various reasons. The Trustee has retained counsel to push our hand, but in reviewing the Trust, there is a section regarding "Conflict Resolution" that specifically states thar arbitration should be used to avoid attorneys fees, court costs and expedition. Wondering if the Trustee was in breech of the Trust.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ilene L McCauley
Ilene L McCauley
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Thank you for your question. Getting to arbitration is a process, which generally requires a law suit to be filed. The language seems clear but it is not. The language is saying that a lawsuit which is governed by arbitration is generally less expensive than a full blown law suit. Both choices require lawyers, both choices require a lawsuit to be filed. The parties can then request that the matter be moved to arbitration and an arbitrator will be hired.

A Trustee should retain counsel when there are questions like the ones you raise. That way it is hoped that any dispute can resolved between the parties. If not, I would recommend that you hire your own attorney to review the trust and to decide next steps.

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