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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34350
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am supposedly a beneficiary of a living trust that has trustees who are my bother & sister. I have asked repeatedly in the past to see the tust copies and was told they were available but somehow never were sent.Also, I believe that there exists 2 valuable CDs that are listed in their names only. I have another younger brother who has been kept in the dark also. (1) Do I have any rights, (2) is a legal "reading" of the will & trust required with my presence, and (3) what is the general process for distribution of trust assets?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Estate law differs by jurisdiction. In which state jurisdiction do your brother and sister reside?

And, if the trust grantor (your parents, maybe), where did they live at the time that you would guess that the trust was created?

Thanks in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


everything done in New hampshire, I live in Arkansas

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  David Kennett replied 1 year ago.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Was there a will and a trust?

Was an estate ever opened in the probate court in NH?

Who is the deceased?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay. You asked:

(1) Do I have any rights.

A: Under NH Stat. 564-B:8-813, you are entitled to a copy of the trust instrument and an annual accounting of the trust activities. This is only a small portion of your rights. The trustee cannot intentionally conceal the trust financials from you -- you can petition the court to have the trustee account and then remove the trustee and replace him/her with someone else (like you, for instance). You are also entitled to damages for any misappropriation or mismanagement of assets, as well as attorney's fees and costs of suit.

See:

(2) is a legal "reading" of the will & trust required with my presence

A: A reading is not required. However, the will must be filed with the probate court in the county where the decedent resided permanently at death, so you can contact the court and get a copy directly. The trust is not required to be filed, but you can force the trustee to produce it, by court action as previously described.

and (3) what is the general process for distribution of trust assets?

A: Without reviewing the trust, it's difficult to be specific. In general, the trustee must collect and inventory all of the assets, notify creditors of the grantor's death, provide a copy of the trust and an annual accounting of the activities to the beneficiaries, report and pay estate taxes if any are required, create any "dynasty trusts" (trusts for persons who are deemed unable to manage the trust funds by the grantor -- e.g., minor children), and then distribute income and/or principal consistent with the trust provisions.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What if the trust has been in force for quite some time and I have never been provided with an annual expense report?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Then, you can make the demand in writing, pursuant to NH Stat. 564-B:8-813, and if you don't receive an accounting, and providing that the trust provisions does not relieve the trustee of the obligation of accounting (which would be absurd), then you hire a lawyer and sue the trustee for breach of trust and for recovery of your attorney's fees and costs from the trustee's personal assets.

Note that you probably won't have to do anything more than hire a lawyer to write a letter to the trustee. As soon as the trustee understands that the game is changing into something really serious and costly, then the trustee is likely to produce all of the financial statements, unless there is misappropriation going on. And that that point, you need to sue, because it means that the trustee may be stealing your money while you're not watching.

For an estate litigation attorney referral, see this link.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34350
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 6 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

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