Skip to main content

How long after a death does the person in charge of a trust have to provide copies of said trust to the decedent's survivors?

Livermore, CA |

The deceased died August 20th.
There is a family trust.
The surviving spouse is listed as the executor.
The deceased's surviving children (step children to the survivor) have been harassing the trust executor for a copy of the trust.
The executor has told the surviving children that the trust is (and it is) in the possesion of her lawyer
9an estate tax attorney) so that she is 100% sure of how to enact/enforce/distribute funds/etc in accord with the trust.
The executor has been told not to provide a copy, and that she does not have to provide a copy until her appointment with her estate tax attorney.
Her appointment will be at the end of this month.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The trustee should provide a copy of the trust to all beneficiaries right away. Yes she can wait for 60 days, but waiting really serves no purpose as it just creates problems between her and the beneficiaries. Trust administration related delays are probably biggest concerns beneficiaries have.

    By the way, I don't necessarily view requests for estate documents following the death of a parent, acts of harassment. If you do, then encourage the trustee to send copies of the trust. Problem solved.

    Good luck.


  2. Sending a copy of the Trust to the beneficiaries is a requirement under the California Probate Code. It is not harassment for a beneficiary to ask for a copy -- They are entitled to a copy. You have a reasonable amount of time to do this. The estate tax attorney will probably want to send out a copy of the trust with the 120 day letters.

    Disclaimer - This presentation does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice. Only through a personal, confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel can anyone properly evaluate their own unique estate planning challenges and determine what, if any, appropriate legal strategies and tactics should be implemented to meet those challenges.

    Circular 230 Disclaimer - “Nothing in this presentation is intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties regarding any transactions or matters addressed herein. You should always seek advice from independent tax advisors regarding the same.”


  3. Technically, the Trustee's (the executor in your scenario) should send out a Notice of Irrevocability of the Trust, within 60 days of the death of the person who created the Trust. This Notice informs beneficiaries of the Trust that they have a right to request a copy of the Trust. However, once the beneficiaries have requested a copy of the Trust, the Trustee has a duty to comply with the request.

Wills and estates topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics