Q: The attorney that wrote up our trusts died one year ago. No one contacted us. No one answers phone or email. Records??
My parents and I both used an attorney in South Jordan, Utah to write up trusts in 2014. My parents are now trying to refinance their reverse mortgage. We need information from the attorney. We tried to contact him via telephone and email. Can't leave message and emails kicked back. Checked online and found that he died in Aug. 2019. No one ever contacted us about this. How do we find out where our records have gone? We are especially concerned because he had all our important private information. I have emailed the Utah Bar but have not heard back as of yet. Any ideas what we can do or where do I start?? Thanks
A: As a best practice, clients should safeguard estate planning documents rather than the lawyer or law firm. Having a scanned digital copy is also a good idea. You might be able to find some records with the county recorder's office if real estate was transferred to the trust. Otherwise, you might have to do a restatement of the trust. Consider contacting another estate planning attorney.
A: If there is no answer to your phone calls, this is not likely to be a law firm. Solo attorneys often work with other attorneys nearby. He may have handed off some of his current files if he saw his health declining. If he shared an office with other attorneys, that would be a great place to start. If not, his spouse would likely have access to his files.
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