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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  15 yrs experience: Elder Law, Wills, Social Security Issues
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My father in law setup a trust wife as benificary. A

Customer Question

My father in law setup a trust for my wife as benificary. A stipulation was that my mother in law would get the payments made off of it u til her death and then it would go to my wife. Its a Franklin Fund. We have seen the binder he kept on several ocassions as he wanted my wife to know how it was doing. My FIL died in 2008, my MIL in 2014. My sister in law has refused to give the binder to my wife saying she doesn't have it. It was always kept with all of my in laws banking stuff. I need to know how can we force her to give it up, can we have a search warrant issued to search the house? Probate was no help as a trust has nothing to do with probate unless specifically in the will, so the court said. Where do we go from here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there -


You have already made a request to the probate court to force disclosure of this binder document and the court refused to assist because it is a trust situation ?



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was other estate assets that went through the probate. The trust was never listed (my sisiter in law was executor) and my sister in laws attorney said it was the first she had heard of the trust fund. The court said it had no say so over trusts because it is a private contract. So they basically didn't even go any further with it. Said get a hold of an attorney to seek my wife's options.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My father in law banked at US Bank. So we went in to explain the situation to see if he set it up there. They refused to tell my wife anything. Can she petition the court to get some kind of power to walk back in there to make them check? Or is she just screwed and give it up?
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again --


The bank will not do anything without a court order and because your wife was not an executor, it makes the situation difficult. What your wife needs to do at this point is sue the estate as a beneficiary for an accounting claiming that she is not and has not received her full portion of her inheritance as set forth by the decedent. At that point the court should at least look into the trust issue privately to determine whether or not there is anything there that your wife might be entitled to. Unfortunately, to do this you will have to hire an estate lawyer and file a motion for an accounting on the estate and a claim to her full inheritance as a beneficiary (she must claim she is being deliberately short changed by the estate). I wish I could give you an easier way to do this, but there is no other way unless her aunt will give up the information. In the face of a full lawsuit against the estate, she just might enter into a settlement agreement with your wife which includes full disclosure on the trust.


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