Trust Litigation: Navigating Defenses of Fiduciaries and Claims of Beneficiaries and Third Parties

Bringing or Defending Against Trust Contests, Trust Construction Issues, and Challenges to Trustee’s Actions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare counsel to handle complex issues that arise in trust litigation. The panel will present best practices for litigating claims and defenses that can be asserted in challenging fiduciaries’ actions and in contesting the trust or trust construction.


Challenges to a trust, the trustee’s actions, or the trust’s validity can be the source of protracted trust litigation. Those with an interest in the trust, third parties or trustees can initiate the action. Counsel must be prepared to assert claims of beneficiaries and defenses of fiduciaries.

Trust contests can focus on objections to the legal validity of the trust, and asserting mistake in execution, undue influence or lack of capacity. Trust construction issues or fiduciary issues challenging the trustee’s actions also serve as the basis for trust actions.

Listen as our authoritative panel of trust and estate planning attorneys highlights key issues that arise in trust litigation, and best practices in handling claims and defenses to claims involving fiduciaries’ actions, the trust’s validity and trust construction.



  1. Challenges to trust validity
    1. Mistake in execution
    2. Undue influence
    3. Testamentary capacity
    4. Fraud/misrepresentation
    5. Lack of capacity to contract
  2. Challenges to trust construction
  3. Challenges to the trustee—claims and defenses
    1. Breach of fiduciary duty- mismanagement of assets, breach of duty of loyalty, self-dealing by the trustee
    2. Removal
    3. Surcharge action
    4. Accounting
    5. Fee award


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What claims against trustees and defenses to claims can be asserted?
  • What claims and defenses should counsel consider asserting when challenging trusts?
  • What common pitfalls should be avoided in carrying out fiduciary duties to minimize trust litigation?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Mary A. Akkerman
Mary A. Akkerman

Lindquist & Vennum

She practices in the areas of estate planning, wills and trusts, estate and trust litigation, guardianship and...  |  Read More

J. Brian Thomas
J. Brian Thomas

Burdette & Rice

Mr. Thomas focuses his practice on probate, estate administration, guardianship and estate planning matters,...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.

Other Formats
— Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts. To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Audio