Interpretation of Wills and Trusts

As a fiduciary duty, appointees such as personal representatives (executors) and trustees, are required to follow the terms of the Will or Trust. When interpreting a Will or Trust, a beneficiary or fiduciary is unable to ask the deceased person for clarification or interpretation of the meaning of the document. Thus, the parties and sometimes, the courts, must interpret testamentary documents even if they are not entirely clear.

Catalyst helps fiduciaries review, interpret, and comply with the terms of the Will or trust instrument. If a fiduciary fails to properly interpret the terms of the Will or Trust, a beneficiary or other interested persons may challenge the interpretation. Due to the nature and complexity of Wills and Trusts, trustees and personal representatives often need to work closely with an experienced attorney. A misguided interpretation, made without advice of counsel, could expose a trustee or personal representative to liability.

Catalyst routinely assist beneficiaries, including individuals and charitable organizations, in determining their rights under the governing instrument and to develop a narrowly-tailored strategy based on the needs of that individual client.  

Catalyst recognizes the benefit of resolving personal matters discreetly and amicably, and we use our best efforts to achieve our clients’ goals outside of litigation.  We are, however, fully prepared to take to trial any issues that cannot be resolved through settlement.

Our clients include individual fiduciaries (e.g. executors, personal representatives, trustees), and corporate fiduciaries, such as banks and trust companies.

We welcome inquiries regarding our services.  Please call 503-207-1711 or contact us online to schedule a Complimentary 15-Minute Case Evaluation to learn more about legal representation regarding the interpretation of Wills or trust instruments, whether through negotiation, mediation, or trial.


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