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My 95 year old mother originally had a living trust naming…

My 95 year old...

My 95 year old mother originally had a living trust naming myself and my 2 sisters as executors/beneficiaries. My sister who lives with my mom recently took her to an attorney so my mom could "preserve her property and her trust". My sister will not let the two of us know what my mom did and I'm wondering if my mom took us off of her living trust. My mom is currently in a nursing home and cannot answer questions. How do I find out? Thank you.

Lawyer's Assistant: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?

California.

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

I have a copy of the original will and living trust naming all three of us.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No. I asked my sister for the attorney information so I could ask him/her myself. She won't give it to me. I don't know my rights.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
12/13/2017
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,709
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
Verified
I am sorry to hear this. Is there any indication of manipulation due to the parent's age? Is the parent of sound mind?
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I believe she was manipulated. The sister who lives with her and took her to the attorney claims she is my mom's caregiver. She also has nothing where my other sister and myself own our homes.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
How can I obtain a copy of her living trust and will?

Just a few more minutes; I was downloading information and the site froze. I apologize for the delay.

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Basically a living trust and a will is a private document and the person who had it drafted has no duty to disclose that information to anyone.

So there are 2 options in such a case if one suspects undue influence which will be discussed below. Undue influence is when a person in a position of trust uses that position to manipulate a vulnerable adult to their benefit. For situations where the person passes, the court will look to see if the bequest was a natural bequest- so for example, was the main heir closer to the parent throughout their life, and if so did the decedent express ongoing intent/commitment to leave that heir additional/disproportionate funds because of that close relationship? Was other natural heirs estranged which would explain a disrepancy?
The court will look to the totality of the circumstances because while a person can of course leave their estate in unequal shares to their adult children, the court will, upon a challenge, look to see if that appeared to be a natural byproduct of their particular relationships, or if there was undue influence or issues of mental incapacity.
If this can be proven-this can be proven by circumstancial evidence (ie prior wills compared to current will, date of each will, etc), medical provider's testimony as to mental capacity, statements as to the heirs' relationships with the decedent by the heirs, family, and friends.

The second option is to deal with it when the person is alive and that requires bringing a financial elder exploitation lawsuit which alleges undue influence.

Both cases require testimony as to the individual's mental capacity, information as to possible manipulation, etc. These type of cases are highly contested so it is often best to hire an attorney especially if one is concerned there is a power of attorney that may be implicated or other financial control that may deplete assets.

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Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,709
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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