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I have 3 adult children in college, twins 22 and one 21. Their…

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I have 3 adult children...
I have 3 adult children in college, twins 22 and one 21. Their father died of Pancreatic cancer 04/26/10. He had remarried a couple years before his death. He told me that he set up a trust. After his death, his widow gave us a note book paper in her hand writing with a breakdown of how 50000 was going to be used to pay for the kids college. She said Jeff said I do not have to do this but he would appreciate it if I did,,,If the kids dont like it they can take out student loans,,, and if they raise a stink Grandma and Grandpa said they will write them out of their will. They live in MO. I have not said or done anything. I asked if we would get a copy of the trust or if we would be going to an atty to have the distribution explained ect and she just waived the notebook paper and said this is it. How do we know what Jeffs intensions were if we are not allowed to see the document? My kids are still living in her home and going to college. I live 100 miles away. I do not want to cause problems but I also want to make sure that their interests are being taken care of appropriately. If Jeff only wanted to distribute 50000 to them that is ok but I really did not get the impression that was it.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/29/2010
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 63,573
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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Hello and thank you for your question. What precisely do you want to know?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
First, do they have the right to see the trust to know that is what Jeffs wishes were. How do you do that if the widow refuses and they did not give anyone a copy of the trust. How do we know if there were assets not in the trust and would my children have any recourse if she kicks them out and quits paying for college. Are there time frames to request an estate be opened up. I am so upset with Jeff because I had asked him on several occations that whatever he wanted for the kids that he set it up so that it was very clear and concise and there would be no doubt of his intension and that we would honor that but .. how do we know? He had told my children that they did not have to move after his death because the house was as much theres as it was Stellas. He had purchased the house in his name because her credit was bad- he told me that part. He did say that she was the executor of the trust- is that the same as trustee. Jeff was also in denial of his death he had said that the kids would get one fourth (adding in her adult son) if something happened to both he and Stella. How do we know what they will get if Stella passes even if no one ever shares the trust info and can she change the trust and write the kids out down the road. She has had 2 plastic surgeries since Jeffs death in April and is getting ready to get on with her life. My kids still have 2-3 years left of college (younger two). I feel like I should get an attorney to make sure their rights are covered but if I do I think she will just cut them off so I just need to know if my kids have rights at all and what we can do to find out. Would the trust be recorded somewhere or is that the purpose of the trust...I am not comfortable with "just trust me" aspect if this is how a trust works- how would anyone know if the trustee is doing what they are supposed to or if Jeff was really stupid enough to say "I know you dont have to do this but if you would I would appreciate it." I had a good relationship with Jeff and Stella and was there with her and the kids when he died- Jeff did not want to discuss dying because even two days before he died he was talking about what he wanted to do when he got better.
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
Does the trust have a clause wishing to keep it private? If so the trustee can indeed not publish it, compared to a will.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
There is no way for us to know that
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
You can then press the trustee to show it and if refuses have a lawyer do it by letter and then sue for access if needed along with an accounting of trust assets.
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