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Can I find my "lost" trust fund???

Coshocton, OH |
Filed under: Wills

I was left a trust fund to me by my Grandfather when i was a real little kid in the 1970,s however my Mom never finished the paperwork with the lawyers from my Grandfathers will she just up and took me and disappeared so things were never "finalized" now it is decades later my Mother has since passed away i have no other family to talk to all i know is my Grandfathers name and where he died and that i have money,stocks and bonds out there somewhere how do i find this "lost" property of mine my Mother before she died told me it was set up so I was the only one who could get the trust fund however due to a stroke she could not remember the name of the Lawyers or Law firm that was dealing with her way back when.So my question is:How do i find this trust fund of mine after all these years???

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Your best bet would be to start with the probate court for the county in which your grandfather resided at his death and ask to see the file for his probate case. If it was that long ago, it will probably be on microfilm or in storage, but it should still be around somewhere, in some form. That should give you the name of the attorney who probated his estate. If it was truly a trust, then there is a trustee out there holding, investing and being responsible for your assets. In the 1970s, it likely would have been a testamentary trust, meaning that your grandfather did not write a separate trust (which is the common practice today) but included a trust within his last will and testament. A testamentary trust in Ohio is subject to continuing probate court jurisdiction, meaning that the probate court would have opened a separate case for it and the trustee would be required to file annual reports with the court. Those documents are also public record and would be available for you to review. If, at some point in the administration, the trustee "abandoned" the funds because you were not found, then maybe the assets were liquidated and the funds turned over to the State of Ohio Department of Commerce unclaimed funds department. They maintain a listing of accounts surrendered on their website which is here: http://www.com.ohio.gov/unfd. I'm not thinking of a way that a trustee could abandon funds, but I suppose it could be possible. If it is with Unclaimed Funds, please use the forms that are available online to claim the assets. You do not need to use the services of a third-party claims department to do this. All they will do is charge you a large fee. The state already charges 5%, and that's really enough. I hope the foregoing helps. I practice in central Ohio, but would be pleased to assist you with this project if you have any questions.

    This response contemplates only the laws of Ohio and is not intended to apply to other jurisdictions. None of the information in this response should be used or relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion about specific matters, facts, situations or issues. Viewing it does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Sherrille D. Akin, the law firm of Isaac, Brant, Ledman & Teetor LLP, or any of its individual attorneys


  2. Your question comes from Coshocton, but you do not say if that is where your grandfather was living at his death. Knowing where he died would help me give you some better suggestions.

    If your grandfather created a trust in the 1970s, it shouldn't be hard to track down. If it was in Coshocton County, it will be even easier, because back then the brokerage firms did not have trust company affiliates so all trusts were done with banks and there would have probably been only 3 or 4 banks with an active trust presence in the County.

    Also, anyone wealthy enough to have been creating trusts would, upon death, have had to file in Probate Court in the County of residence. If you have your grandfather's name and know where he died, it should be fairly easy to find, and if you know his date of death it would be even easier. If you don't know the date of death but know where he is buried, you can get the date of death from the tombstone. That should make it fairly easy to track down the probate case, and therefore track down the law firm, and therefore track down the trust. That would be true even in a major city.

    Usually, when trusts like this are created, the parent (your mother) would benefit from the trust during her lifetime, and it would pass to you at her death. Because trust accounting is complex, your mother would have had an accountant who would know about any distributions to her from the trust ... and would know where the distributions came from. If it was not that type of trust, and was created for you, there is a trustee somewhere wondering where you are.

    If you wish to contact our office, we can try to help you locate the trust. Or if you do not with to do that, you can try supplementing your question with more complete facts.

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