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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
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Hi, I received a letter that must have come from an attorney,

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Hi,

I received a letter that must have come from an attorney, but I threw away the envelope with the attorney's address on it. :( Anyhow, it is a signed statement under perjury of law in the state of Washington that this witness (I think cause I googled this person and she is not an attorney) caused the following persons below indicated for a change in documents. That being a notice of a change of trustee. My Grandma used to be the trustor, my uncle was the trustee, but he was greedy and moved a lot of funds out of this trust to independent companies. My mom (who loves money more than anything on this planet) and her other two brothers have been suing my one uncle for several years to get at their trusts.

I think the uncle that was once the trustee is now the trustor. I learned you cannot be a trustor AND a trustee. Since I have been added, I think I am now the trustee. I don't trust asking any family members about this (no one has called me in over a week since I received this letter so it must be causing some issues).

If I don't know the name of the lawyer, how can I find out the following?


Who are the trustees, beneficiaries , grantor of the trust?

Where are the trust documents, including bank account numbers, investments etc. ( all trust assets) accounting records ,tax returns?

How are investment/distribution decisions made implemented?

Does the trustee have absolute control. or if their are joint trustees how are decisions made?

Why and how we're the the trustee changes made?

How can I find out who the attorney is and who that attorney represents?

Since this trust is the subject of ongoing litigation will a new trustee be involved in any way in explaining/defending decisions made prior to his/her tenure?

Who will provide trust information to me? If their are costs/fees associated with this transition who will pay?

There is a number on the paper at the bottom SEA-DOCS(NNN) NNN-NNNN1 [999991.41508]

Thank you!

Christy
Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

Who are the trustees, beneficiaries , grantor of the trust?

The trust document will tell you this information.

Where are the trust documents, including bank account numbers, investments etc. ( all trust assets) accounting records ,tax returns?

Generally the originals will be in the possession of the person that made the trust or, if that person is deceased, the current trustee. That may mean in that person's home or in a safe deposit box. They are private documents, so they are not available in any public place in most cases.

How are investment/distribution decisions made implemented?

The trustee makes investment decisions and implements those.

Does the trustee have absolute control. or if their are joint trustees how are decisions made?

Yes, the trustee has absolute control within limits of law that require that the trustee only take actions allowed by the terms of the trust and in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust and not in favor of the trustee over the interest of the beneficiaries.

If there are multiple trustees, the terms of the trust may say all must agree. If so, then all must agree. If there are multiple trustees and the trust is silent, then if there are 2, both must agree. If there are 3 or more, then a majority controls.

Why and how we're the trustee changes made?

Only the trust terms can determine how trustees may change unless the person that made the trust is alive and the trust is revocable, in which case the person that made the trust can make trustee changes. Otherwise, the trust terms control how trustees can be changed (and in some cases you can sue in court to get a change of trustees).

How can I find out who the attorney is and who that attorney represents?

The only way to do that is find a copy of the trust and review records of the person that made the trust.

Since this trust is the subject of ongoing litigation will a new trustee be involved in any way in explaining/defending decisions made prior to his/her tenure?

A new trustee is not generally responsible for wrongdoing of a prior trustee but the new trustee may very well be responsible for pursuing action against the former trustee for that former trustee's wrongdoing.

Who will provide trust information to me? If their are costs/fees associated with this transition who will pay?

The trustee is responsible for providing information about the trust to you upon your request to the trustee. There is not generally a cost to the beneficiary unless it is a substantial cost to obtain the requested information in which case the trust is probably responsible because that information should have been maintained by the trustee anyway. It would be rare for a beneficiary to incur costs unless a lawsuit against the trustee is necessary. Even in that case, the beneficiary can often times be reimbursed from the trust.
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