Simi Valley, CA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: W hat to do when my mother has passed away and father has not given me a copy of the trust

My mother and father set up a trust my mother passed away of cancer in May of 2020 starting it was irrevocable but as of today my brother and I have not received a copy of the trust since then my father has remarried in June of 2021 and have no idea of how to go about getting a copy from him without feeling guilty but given the fact he's remarried wanting to make sure that nothing comes missing since the fact she lives across the street I'm not saying he's done anything wrong but since it's been 16 months since she passed away we feel that we should know what is in the trust and are a bit cautious because we know this will anger him and we don't want any of my mom's property to go across the street there is money property cars jewelry Etc and we just want to protect what we believe should be ours, what is the best way to handle this ? is a probate lawyer just the best way to handle this

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2 Lawyer Answers
Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm sorry to hear about your mom. You shouldn't feel bad about asking your dad for a copy of the Trust document since you are clearly entitled to a copy. Under California law (Probate Code section 16061.7) every Trust beneficiary, and every heir-at-law of the decedent, is entitled to receive a copy of the Trust document. The trick is to find the right words and approach so he's not offended by the request.

1 user found this answer helpful

Julie King
Julie King
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You can certainly ask your father for a copy of the trust. You're entitled to see a copy. But, please know that you should not have any expectations about an inheritance because you may or may not have inherited anything from your mother. It is quite common for married couples to leave everything to the spouse who survives because the surviving spouse may need the assets to live off for the remainder of the survivor's life. If your mother left everything to your father, you would not be entitled to anything until your father passes away and only to the extent your father leaves you something in his trust. There is no automatic right to an inheritance. If someone dies without a trust or will, the law dictates who will receive the assets, so people have a better idea who will get what. I hope you did inherit something from your mom! I just wanted you to be prepared for any outcome until you know what your parents' trust says. Best wishes.

1 user found this answer helpful

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