Barrington, RI asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Rhode Island

Q: My husband is trustee/executor of his dad's trust. He has two siblings, each of them entitled to 1/3 of the trust.

One of the siblings (through his attorney) has not signed a release (sent to him more than four months ago) to get what's left of his inheritance after expenses. Trustee is considering petitioning the court (under Title 18-6-2 of RI law) for trustee/executor to be freed from liability for his brother's inheritance. If litigation is pursued by the beneficiary regarding any aspect of the trust, can/does the trust pay for legal expenses caused by said litigation? There is also a "no contest clause" included in the trust calling for ceasing entitlement to any beneficiary who contests the trust/will.

Thank you for your guidance.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: It is very kind of you to want to help. Your husband should be able to figure all of this out with help from their attorney. If they do not have an attorney assisting them, now would be a great time for them to retain one. It sounds like this simple trust / estate is becoming more complicated. Your husband's attorney will likely contact the sibling's attorney to ascertain what the delay may be. If they are not able to communicate or come to an agreeable resolution, the petition you describe (Trustee - also your husband?) may be an option. The first challenge will be to discern why the release has not been executed. Is it possible it was lost in the mail - or sent to the wrong address. (More questions for your husband to review with his locally admitted practicing probate attorney)

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