In this article, we answer, “What are some legal grounds for trust contests in Iowa?” Our Iowa trust attorneys will explain reasons for trust contests in Iowa, including:
To learn more about how to contest a trust in Iowa, read our article on How to Contest a Trust in Iowa.
A trust that is deemed invalid can be successfully contested in Iowa. Senate File 112 amended the requirements for certifications of trusts in Iowa and went into effect July 1, 2019. For a trust to be validated in Iowa, it must:
A trust in Iowa must also be created for a valid or lawful purpose. A trust created to hide or shield funds from creditors is not a valid trust. Neither is a trust against public policy.
For a trust to be valid in Iowa, it must be made by a trustor who has testamentary capacity, or is of sound mind with full comprehension of their actions. A trust can be successfully contested if the trustor’s mental state at the time the trust was drafted or signed is in question. This ground to contest a trust in Iowa is common in cases where the decedent suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
When evaluating for testamentary capacity, the following questions, and their answers, are taken into consideration.
If a claimant can prove a trustor was unaware of any of the required information, they may be able to have a trust invalidated in Iowa.
Undue influence is another common ground for disputing a trust in Iowa. Undue influence is defined as excessive persuasion that causes a trustor to act out of character or refrain from exercising their free will.
For example, if a child of a trustor believed they deserved more assets than their siblings, they could persuade their parent to adjust the terms of their trust through verbal or physical force. If a trustor is incapacitated, ill, disabled, elderly, isolated, or dependent on the ill-intended beneficiary, they are more likely to fall victim to undue influence.
If a trust is deemed invalid in Iowa because of undue influence, the previous trust (if applicable) goes into effect.
Our final ground for contesting a trust in Iowa is fraudulence. If a trustor believed they were signing a document other than a trust or were signing a trust with different provisions than what the document in question contained, the trust can be deemed invalid.
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