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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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How can you tell if there is a family partnership agreement

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How can you tell if there is a family partnership agreement in place?
We asked dad, sole survivor and trustee of his living family trust this question, since my uncle mentioned it in a discussion. Dad denied. I also asked siblings and they seem evasive. Dad’s trust seems to be involved in some way, and I’m not sure what impact this has. I am supposed to be successor trustee, executor, and a beneficiary of his trust when he passes.
Mom and dad had an A/B living trust that was supposed to be divided into subtrusts (mandatory) when she passed away 3 yrs ago. This never took place. Dad’s new attorney somehow has it down as a fully revocable trust via a Certificate of Trust. This is incorrect and in breach. I’m wondering if a new trust was made while mom was alive, that I’m not aware of. Dad’s latest attorney never mentioned anything.
Dad is elderly and shows signs of dementia. He is careless with his finances.
If there is an agreement or contract in place, I’d like to know this now. I was not included in this agreement when and if it indeed took place.
I performed a background check on dad, and his name is XXXXX XXXXX all properties that belong to a sibling; addresses, phone #’s, businesses, etc. Dad’s name is XXXXX XXXXX living at this sibling’s household. My sibling also has a living family trust, in the same name as dad’s, but supposed to be separate and established at a later date.
Thank you.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Family partnership agreements may be filed with the secretary of state as other partnerships are filed. However, if the family never recorded the partnership with the secretary of state (so many people do not now they have to do this), then the attorney is the only one who can tell you.

The attorney cannot tell you as long as your dad is alive and competent. Thus, if you are saying your dad is getting dementia, you can ask him for a Power of Attorney, or you can seek to get legal guardianship over him because of the dementia and then the attorney can talk to you about the estate and the existence of any family partnership.

If there is no registered family partnership, then the party who is alleging there is one has to produce the original document to prove its existence and if they cannot do so it would not exist.

As far as the handling of the AB trust, if this was not done properly, you need to file in court now to challenge that improper handling of the AB trust and not following the terms of that trust to get that trust corrected.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks, Paul. There's a power of attorney in place, but can't touch it until dad is incompacitated.
The uncle informed me, but I don't feel he has any documentation. He stepped in to give me a "heads up," something is going on, i.e., a contract, and that dad is doing this and that for siblings, and he could also do whatever he wants since he has a revocable trust, etc.

There may be a filing with attorney, dad's or sibling's, regarding a partnership deal.

Difficult situation and very frustrating.

Cannot do any court petition, etc, as it would be too costly, and I endanger myself of being disinherited.

Thanks again.


Thank you for your updated information.

I am afraid that until he is incapacitated, there is little you can do unless they did record the partnership with the secretary of state.

I understand these situations are frustrating as families can turn evil when someone dies.

Unfortunately, as long as it is a revocable trust, he can do what he chooses with that revocable trust with little oversight as he is the grantor.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Agreed. Greed and entitlement, deception, etc. Unfortunate.

I will check with Secretary of State for any recording there.


There will probably be no trust to settle at the end.


Appreciate your response.

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