Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution (TEDRA) Lawyer
What is TEDRA?
Trust and estate disputes in Washington are governed by the Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act (RCW 11.96A.010-902, generally referred to as “TEDRA”). This relatively new law sets out special accelerated procedures and rules to handle such disputes, with a focus on faster court processes, alternate dispute resolution, and modified rules for attorneys’ fees.
Many people try to set forth a detailed and thoughtful plan for what will happen to their assets after their passing. However, conflict frequently occurs when it comes time to carry out the decedent’s wishes. An untimely death may prevent the decedent from putting their affairs properly in order, leading to confusion and conflict; the potential heirs and beneficiaries may dispute the validity of a will or other testamentary instrument; a Personal Representative may cut off communication with the heirs and beneficiaries, or there may be signs that the Personal Representative is breaching his or her duties; an heir or beneficiary may threaten the entire estate with groundless accusations and the threat of litigation.
With Trusts, conflict frequently arises as the Trust continues to operate year after year, growing farther and farther away from serving the purpose it was made for. There may be signs that the Trustee is failing to follow the purpose and specific instructions of the trust instrument; the Trustee may waste or embezzle the property of the trust; the Trustee may fail to properly inform the beneficiaries regarding trust operations; there may be a dispute regarding interpreting the language of the trust instrument; or perhaps the beneficiaries seek to modify the trust for liquidity, tax savings, or other purposes.
In these situations, conflict between fiduciaries, heirs, and beneficiaries can easily boil over into active litigation – in that case, the procedures and rules of TEDRA will apply.
Special Rules for Special Trusts and Estates
Even in the absence of conflict between fiduciaries, heirs, and beneficiaries, the rules and procedures of TEDRA may still come into play in special cases. For example, TEDRA may govern situations where minors or disabled individuals receive property under a will or trust; where individuals who would ordinarily be involved in a trust or estate proceeding cannot be located or refuse to participate; or where the disposition of assets or the instructions of the decedent are unclear given the facts of the case. In these examples, an experienced TEDRA attorney can work to efficiently resolve the procedural roadblocks that prevent a trust or estate matter from being resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.
Why You Should Hire an Experienced Attorney for Your TEDRA Case
The laws surrounding TEDRA are complex and different from the standard rules in Washington for general civil litigation. An experienced TEDRA attorney can properly explain the opportunities and risks of TEDRA litigation, work to resolve conflicts through informal communication and alternative dispute resolution, save time and money from being wasted on procedural mistakes or researching this specialized area of the law, and maximize the chances of a favorable attorneys’ fees award in your case. Let our experienced legal team help you! Call 206-413-7288 today for an initial consultation.
We offer the following TEDRA Services
- Request for Special Notice
- Remove a Personal Representative
- Remove a Trustee
- Demand for Trust Accounting
- Demand for Estate Accounting
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Proof of Lost Will
- Contest a Will
- Disinheritance under the Slayer/Abuser Statute
- Dissolve a Trust
- TEDRA Settlements
- Non-judicial Binding Agreements
- Court Hearings
- Special Representative
- Virtual Representative