Most people know that a will made under dubious circumstances can be contested after the death of the person who signed it (or allegedly signed it).

But these days, many people use revocable living trusts, instead of wills, to pass their estates to others (usually to avoid the cost and hassle of probate). Can you contest a revocable living trust?

Yes, according to Pennsylvania law.

Pennsylvania adopted its version of the Uniform Trust Act in 2006. The UTA in Pennsylvania contains a number of provisions governing revocable living trusts, including what happens after the settlor (person who created the trust) dies.

The UTA requires the trustee to send notice about the death of a settlor to certain people, including the trust’s beneficiaries. Within one year after that notice has been sent, a “person having standing to do so may contest the validity of a revocable trust by filing a petition with the court.” (For those interested in legal citations, this provision can be found at 20 Pa. C.S. § 7754.)

The grounds for contesting a revocable living trust are the same as those for contesting the validity of a will.

A revocable living trust can therefore avoid probate, but not a contest over its validity.

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