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How do you find out if you have trust fund money? And can you sue the living parent if they spent it?

Jacksonville, AR |

I'm 17 years old and will be 18 next summer. My mom passed when I was 7, and she left a trust fund, but my dad says there is no money. Both my parents and grandma signed it as proof that it was supposed to be placed. My twin sister and I are supposed to get over $50,000 each when we turn 18, and again when we were 21 or 24. Help?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. That's awful! And not that uncommon, unfortunately. You need to get a probate attorney on board now, I would not advise waiting. There are severe civil and criminal penalties when a trustee loots a trust, whether the looter is the beneficiary's parent or not.

    This is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer. You are not my client. You cannot rely on my response to your question. My response to your question is probably worth exactly what you paid for it. You don't get to sue me for anything. If you'd like to sue me, well you have to hire me first. Here's how you can hire me! #1 Call: 1-888-463-2843 #2 Email: david@davidcarrierlaw.com #3 See me on TV! www.woodtv.com - go to the Ask the Expert tab! #4 Listen to my radio show (2 full hours every week!) www.woodradio.com - go to the podcast section.


  2. Retain an estates or trusts attorney to demand an accounting and to bring a surcharge action if the trustee has taken the money illegally from the trust. You cannot do this on your own so you must lawyer up.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  3. The right to recover against your father, as trustee, would depend on whom the beneficiaries were after your mother passed away. If your father was the beneficiary or one of the beneficaries, then your remedies may be limited. Either way, if you are a beneficiary then your are likely entitled to an accounting of the trust assets and expenses. In English, your dad should be able to demonstrate where the money went. You also may be entitled to a copy of the trust. At any rate, you should seek the advice of a local trust and estates attorney if your father is unable to adequate address your questions.

    I am licensed in Wyoming only. The legal analysis of any situation depends on a variety of factors which cannot be properly represented or accounted for on a web page. The information is intended as general information only, and is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. If you have a question about a specific factual situation, you should contact an attorney directly.

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