How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33479
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Loren is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My father died when I was 13. He had an irrevocable trust

Customer Question

My father died when I was 13. He had an irrevocable trust but my mother who is 92 can not remember where it is. All attorneys involved are dead
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My father was hired by IBM typewriter corp straight out of college. They even paid for his training. I am now 62 and the youngest of 3 girls. My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was 4. The cancer went into remission for 4 years then returned. He had planned to divorce Mom but remained with her because he knew he was dying. She never would tell us how much $ or what was in her living trust. My father continued to work until 3 weeks before he died. My oldest sister was a snr in high school, my middle sister was a soph, and I was a freshman. My father could not get life insurance so he bought stock. We know that each of us had a certain amount of IBM stock set up for us for college; it was roughly $25,000. If there was any remaining $ it was turned over at age 26. I still have 7 shares of the original stock. We lived at***** Nashville, TN. My father would never have disclosed the contents of the living trust. He felt Mother was stupid, and in fact she does not understand the whole will/living trust procedure. My middle sister was always designated as POA by Mom. I just discovered that she had her hedge fund husband of 20 years get a trust lawyer and redo the will portion last year. I went to the lockbox to find the will and all that was there was an antenuptial signed by my Mom when she remarried in 1991. I found a name of a law firm and now have the amendments to Mom's will. In there was a 5 page POA 5 pg document; she has not been declared incompetent but it has been noted that no major life changing decisions can be made without a neutral party present. I hired an elder law attorney to protect Mom and to update the will. It is a very difficult situation, because the middle sister who saw Mom maybe 5 times refuses to give up her POA. I have not revealed the info I have found; as POA she has no rights to do anything even if Mom is ruled incompetent. I am paying for the attorney myself. I also hired a PI, because the brother in law switched her living trust account from Merrill Lynch to a friend at UBS. I am investigating him and whether my sister fooled with IRS and declared Mom incompetent. I know what was in Mom's will in 1991 and what remains. I do not know exact $ amounts but know that now the UBS account has about $685,000. Before the recession it had approx $1.5 million. My Mom has been extremely frugal, but she has worked only 1 part time job since my Dad died for 3 yrs. Her assisted living apartment is owned by her and between she and her husband, who is in congestive heart failure, they get about $5000 a month.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Have you identified assets which are actually titled to your late father's trust, such as real estate or bank accounts?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know IBM stock but there were other stock investments -I do not know specifics. Mom got the house which was sold and her apartment was in the will. Dad's will was made in last year of his life, and he died in Oct 1967 or 1968. He was smart so I assume he put it at trust company in Nashville . I have the ML acct # ***** IRA for Mom which was in her account in 1991 but I do not know if ML even existed in 1968. Mother still thinks you're going to steal her $ so she is refusing to sign papers to allow me to research those accounts. My eldest daughter is a stockbroker and she was going to look statements over for shifting of $ between ML and UBS.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The assets listed that she had in 1991-First American went to Green Hills Regions Bank-checking,savings,lockbox: ML to UBS fund . house sold and Richland Place apt bought with cash, fees and deposits redirected by sister's husband -will deal with that with attorney, The globetrotters stock fund dissolved when Jean died. $ for Probate Court is not problem- there are very few trust companies in Nashville so I have notified the ones suggested by attorney. Do wills mention if a trust exists? If my mother's ubs account is a living trust acct does that mean there is actually a trust?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We know that the 3 girls are beneficiaries in trust. How do I find Mom's trust? I know what was in it. The 3 girls are the beneficiaries of Mom's trust.We can not find Mom's trust or Dad's will and ?trust
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dad's will existed and was implemented. How do I read it? Is it in the Davidson county court records and can anyone view it?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are you still online with me?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?