Dallas, TX asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma

Q: Does stepmom have any right to stock certificate still in grandmas name?

Dad died and his financial planner hands to my stepmother a stock certificate that is still in my paternal grandmothers name. My father had set up a trust and began Funding it - he did not name a beneficiary. She and I learned this together at the office of his planner. My stepmother then says he left her "letters testamentary" at home in the safe. Planner hands her a stock certificate for 40k still in my grandma s name. I find online that stepmother had filed a will and opened probate & got letters of administration. She sent my notice to appear to her house and never informed me. When I see the will online I know right away that it is a fraud. I have an abundance of evidence. Will leaves her everything. So why would he have a trust to begin with if it's all hers? I think she changed the will to get the letters to take charge of whatever he had put In trust. Why else would he not have immediately named her as such in the trust? Or even named her as beneficiary? Please advise.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ilana Sharpe
Ilana Sharpe
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: If the stock remains in the grandmother's name then the stock would be subject to the administration of her estate, not your father's. That being said, if her estate leaves the property to your father, then his estate would come into play. You would need to investigate the administration of her estate. In terms of the trust, there are many different reasons people set up a trust, however, any trust would need to have a stated beneficiary. If the trust was a revocable trust, generally a person would have what is called a pour over will which would devise everything to the trustee of the trust upon the person's death. If you believe a fraudulent will has been admitted to probate you should contact counsel to advise you on your next steps.

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