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Interpreting a Nevada will or trust

This blog has talked about how residents of the Las Vegas area can challenge the validity of a will or trust. They can also seek to have an executor of a will or a trustee removed from their position if there is some evidence that these people are breaching their fiduciary duty.

However, these sorts of issues are not the only reason for probate litigation or trust litigation in Nevada. By way of example, many times family members and other interested parties can agree that a will or trust is valid and can even agree that the executor or trustee is doing his or her best with a difficult situation; what they don't agree on is what the will or trust means.

After all, the more complicated a will or trust document gets, the more likely it is that something important will get missed in the drafting process, or that the document will just not be clear enough to explain what the drafter intended. Sometimes, the lack of clarity can lead to significant disputes about what a will or trust really means, and one or both sides will initiate litigation in an effort to get clarity.

In these sorts of situations, the ultimate goal of the court will be to be faithful to the intention of the person who created the document, which is a difficult task since that person is usually either deceased or unable to testify in court.

While the court will generally use as its starting point the language of the will or trust itself, read in context, the court may also at times consider additional evidence about the intentions of the person who created the document and may also rely on certain legal principles, called rules of construction, in an effort to interpret the document properly.

Cases regarding the interpretation of a will or trust can be complex, and it can also be hard for a person to prove his or her case using only the evidence that a court will accept as "admissible." Therefore, getting the help of an experienced probate litigation attorney in the greater Las Vegas area is usually a critical first step.

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Law Offices of P. Sterling Kerr, P.C.
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