Bloomington, IL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Illinois

Q: There's a trust fund and it's my brother & I but he's refused to let me see any of the paperwork do I have a right

There's also a house he claimed he bought from my parents I asked him

Show proof he will not its part of the asset well time is up and he will not add the house just wants to split the trust as is what is my legal right he also had to take money out of the trust fund to pay off this mortgage for the house that he is keeping. Does he have to add the house to the trust and if he wants to keep it does he have to get it appraisal on it and buy me out?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wilmette, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: If you are a beneficiary you have a right to see at least some of the trust paperwork, and likely all of it. Some trusts may include language limiting information which can be shared. It sounds like your brother is the named trustee. To start, you can ask to see the names of trustees in the trust, in order to confirm that was granted that authority.

As to the house. A simple title check at the county office can confirm ownership. You may be able to do that on line. If he bought the house from your parents, then it needs to have been purchased at a "fair market value". If so, then the money he paid for the home is now in your parents estate as cash. Theoretically the value of the estate would not have changed, because the value of the asset of the home is replaced by the value of the asset of cash. The cash would be split evenly between you two, just as the home would have been. If the home was bought for less than fair market value, then you would be allowed to take a larger share of the cash equal to 1/2 of the fair market value. For example, if your brother bought the house from your parents for 1/2 of the fair market value, you would get all of the cash he paid for the home and he would get none.

Now, there are many conditions and variables not addressed in this simple format, and a much larger conversation and understanding of the situation and documents needs to be done, but that is the general place to start.

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