We are a family of 4 children. 8 years ago my father remarried and epuchased an office building in Arizona under the name of Our Family Trust ( primary owner ) and another trust under the name of my father and my stepmother as secondary owner. We assume the children are the beneficiaries since the name is Family Trust. No children has ever recived a copy of the trust. My father passed away three years ago. The trust still exist but no one has received any money. We suspect that our step mother is into something.
How do we find out who the beneficieries are ? In fact we children did not even know the existence of ythis trust. previously.
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
I am sorry for your loss. Your father had the ability to decide who will be beneficiaries of his trust. He had the ability to include or exclude anyone as beneficiaries. You can try to contact your father's estate planning attorney, or the trustee(s) of trust, and ask them to share this information with you. You should consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.
Estate Planning Attorney
Sorry for your loss.
If the Trust was administered in California, then you are entitled to a copy of the Trust under Probate Code Section 16061.7(b)(2) as an heir of your father even if you are not a beneficiary under the Trust. You should make a demand on the trustee of the Trust for a copy of the Trust. If he or she refuses, then you can petition the court and the Probate Code provides that your attorney fees get paid by the trustee if he or she refuses to provide a copy.
If the Trust is administered in Arizona, then you need to contact an attorney in Arizona.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Estate Planning Attorney
I agree with the previous answers. Even if the trustee, for some reason, refuses to give you a copy of the trust document; you may want to ask other members in the family if they have a copy of the trust. You have to be careful, because they may not have an up to date version of the trust, but it would give you something for your attorney to review and follow up on.
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