My parents, who lived (and died) in Florida, established a Revocable Family Trust many years ago. I do not have a copy of the trust, but it had come up in family discussions several times before my father passed away in 2007. In 2008, there is a public record of deed transfer into the trust, so I do know the name of the law firm that made those changes and has knowledge of the trust. According to descriptions of the trust in previous conversations, it sounded like an A/B trust, where part of it would become irrevocable upon his death, and while he was alive, it would take consent of both parties to change it. That part of the trust was investments to provide income to my mother while she lived, then to be divided equally between the surviving children. The survivors are myself and my sister, who he indicated would be the Successor Trustee. I have no reason to suspect that any change to beneficiaries occurred in the B part of the trust before he died, since he always voiced concern over passing on his assets to his children, with no chance of his assets being diverted elsewhere should our mother remarry or have a change of heart later. The other part of the trust would remain revocable at our mother’s discretion until her death, and was intended to provide for surviving grandchildren. She died May 20, 2016. My sister, who I believe is the Successor Trustee, has not spoken to me since before our mother’s death and will not return my calls or give me any information.
Everything I have found out is from Florida public record searches. From what I have read of the Florida Statute, Florida Trust Code(###) ###-#### the Successor Trustee shall: “Within 60 days after the date the trustee acquires knowledge of the creation of an irrevocable trust, or the date the trustee acquires knowledge that a formerly revocable trust has become irrevocable, whether by the death of the settlor or otherwise, the trustee shall give notice to the qualified beneficiaries of the trust’s existence, the identity of the settlor or settlors, the right to request a copy of the trust instrument, the right to accountings under this section, and that the fiduciary lawyer-client privilege in s. 90.5021 applies with respect to the trustee and any attorney employed by the trustee.”
It has been more than 60 days, and neither I (nor my daughter) have received any such notification. Another public record search indicates that a Will was registered with the probate
court on June 15, 2016 and the status is “complete” and “closed”. Again, I have not seen the will, but I assume my sister was also the Personal Representative and it was a Pour Over
Will, adding all remaining assets to the family trust. So far, I have not been able to find any publication of a Notice to Creditors anywhere in Florida.
Understandably, I am concerned over the secrecy, avoidance, and the inability to get any information about the settlement of my parent’s estate
. Are there exceptions to the 60 day notification period? Can I find out if my sister is the Successor Trustee and if I and/or my daughter are beneficiaries? I live in Colorado. Can a local attorney help me or must it be a Florida lawyer? Any advice on how to proceed is greatly appreciated.