I believe there is a trust in my name which I should have access to, but the trustee won’t transfer me the money. I’d like a lawyer to help me understand my rights better, but I called my free local legal counselling and they said they don’t do trust funds. It seems ironic that I can’t afford the lawyer that could make the case for me to get my money. Is there any law guaranteeing me my right to dispute the management of my trust in a court of law? How can I get the legal expertise I may need, in order possibly to exercise my right?
You may be confusing the right to an attorney if you cannot afford one that is applicable only in CRIMINAL cases, not civil cases like you are discussing.
You may be able to get an attorney to take your case on a contingency basis but there are two things to keep in mind:
- The attorney has to have some expectation that the case is winnable.
- The amount to be recovered must be worth the risk of taking on this case.
In other words, for the attorney it's more of a business question that a legal one.
Many attorneys will give you a free 30 minute, more or less, consultation. Perhaps you might give that a try.
There are a variety of cases, including some breaches of fiduciary duty by trustees, in which you can, after you have hired and paid a lawyer of your own, receive reimbursement from the trust or the trustee for some or all your legal fees.
But this is the exception to the general rule, often fees aren't fully recoverable in practice, and when it does happen, it happens after the fact.
Is there any law guaranteeing me my right to dispute the management of my trust in a court of law?
There may well be such a law, although that depends on the jurisdiction involved. But that is not the same as a law guaranteeing a free lawyer, and there quite likely is no such law, again depending on the jurisdiction of the case.