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Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience:  30 years of experience
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My father died a few years ago. He left a trust to my nieces

Customer Question

Hi,
My father died a few years ago. He left a trust to my nieces unrevocable trust. Which they were to receive at a certain age which I believe was 21. My niece is now 22. She has tried to no avail to reach my step sister who was left as the executee... Trustee? Anyhow she called the attourneys # ***** was on the paperwork (trust) She got the law office and was told that he had passed away sometime back and his files had been destroyed. She does not know my step sisters home address. Nor does she know what court if any might have a copy of said trust on file.
She has called the bank that is listed on the legal forms we all received upon my dad's death and was told there is no such account in existance.What recourse does she have.
My father lived in Simi Valley Calif. The attourney was in Canoga park calif. My niece lives in Klamath Falls Oregon. There are 3 children involved who each are set up to split the money equally and it was to fund when they come of age.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

There are three possibilities:

1) The trustee let the accounts lie dormant and they were turned into the state's unclaimed property department. If so your nieces should be able to recover the money by making a claim to the state. They can do a search and file a claim here:

http://www.sco.ca.gov/upd_msg.html

2) The trustee has the funds and is just not being responsive;

3) The trustee raided the funds.

For 2 and 3 the nieces will need to bring an action against the trustee for an accounting and for restitution of the trust funds.

Because the trustee is in Oregon, in order to obtain personal jurisdiction over the trustee, the the law suit must be filed in Oregon to enforce the terms of the California Trust.

This link will help you find an Oregon Attorney:

http://www.lawyers.com/wills-and-probate/oregon/find-law-firms-by-city/

Finding a copy of the Trust is going to be challenging, but there may be a copy, or a reference to it in the Ventura County, California, Court House records. You will need to make a trip to the Court House and obtain a copy of your Father's Will. The Records Clerk will be able to assist with that. If you have a reference to the Trust in the Will that may be sufficient to initiate an accounting.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

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Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

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