Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.
Have you identified assets which are actually titled to your late father's trust, such as real estate or bank accounts?
Thank you for the additional information.
If there are assets floating around out there which are titled to a missing irrevocable trust, in which you are a beneficiary, then you will need to file an action in probate court to either break the trust or force someone to turn it over. The main concern is that there are no assets currently titled in the missing trust and it would be a waste of time and money to involve the probate court.
It sounds as if everything happened so long ago that it is going to be very expensive and very difficult to trace the timeline and location of the trust, if it exists. So, you should really try to identify if there are any assets actually titled to the irrevocable before you start taking more expensive action. You can retain local counsel to do an asset search for the trust and if you find anything warranting further action, you can do so.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
The will would only mention the trust if assets were directed to the trust from the estate.
Your mother having a trust would not necessarily mean that there was a trust by your father. Nor, would your father having trust necessarily mean that you were a beneficiary of that trust.
As I said, if you can identify assets actually titled to your father's trust you can file suit in probate court to get further information and assert your claim.
Trusts are private documents. They are not public records, as are last wills after they have been admitted to probate. So, in order to access the trust of your mother, you would need to file in probate to allege a violation of the terms of the trust and to gain access to it.
Also, if a will is not produced, or it is missing, the law presumes it was revoked by the testator.
A will is a public record. If it was filed with the court anyone can go to the clerk of the court and order the file to review or copy the will.
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