I was named both the trustee and the beneficary in an irrevocable trust, I lost the last page which had both signatures

Asked over 5 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I have a two part question
Although I lost the signature page of the irrevocable trust ( I down loaded the forms from the internet, so there is no other copy) ..I did have it notarized and I have do have a certificate of ackwowledgement receipt from the notary, that says that I along with the grantor signed a trust of that sort..I also have a will signed by the grantor (not notorized) stipulating that I am the executor of her will and I shall divide her property amongst all of her children as I deem fit signed a year earlier. I have some pretty vicious siblings who will a have a field day if they new that I lost that signature page in that irrevocable trust ..so my first question is

1a: what are my rights and do I have any?

1b: I never filed any papers with nobody because the grantor's property was being challenged by one of her children in Apellate court..which she (the grantor ) won back her property a couple of days before her demise, and this now brings me to the second part of the question..how do I enforce her (my sibling) the one that lost ..to sign over the property to the grantors name ??(I do have a remittuer) I am stuck I don't know my rights and I simply don't know what to do, one last question is there a time limit that I need to be aware of?.
PLEASE,PLEASE, PLEASE HELP I DO NOT HAVE ANY MONEY TO PAY FOR AN ATTORNEY

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Thomas Eugene Stindt

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . You have some work to do, and this is not something you are going to be able to resolve without help.

    First, you should file a petition in the Superior Court in Los Angeles County, probate department, to confirm the existence of the irrevocable trust, your status as trustee, and confirm the trust estate includible in trust administration. Your verified (under oath) summary of facts will be in that petition, along with the notary's receipt, probably a sworn declaration from that notary, and a copy of whatever you have of the trust. If the proper showing is made, you should be able to have the existence of the trust confirmed. That will give you standing as a trustee to exert all of the trustee's powers under California law.

    Secondly, you should probate the original Will, in the jurisdiction of decedent's last residence, and the fact of it being notarized doesn't help. We don't notarize Wills in California, they are witnessed by two parties. If the Will is properly signed and attested by subscribing witnesses, you should be able to get it admitted. Then Letters Testamentary will be issued to you, empowering you as Executor with all powers under California law.

    Next, exert such remedies as available to marshal the assets into both the trust and the probate estate.

    To do the above, try contacting a probate lawyer in Los Angeles County who would be willing to accept modest means matters, and there are such persons. You personally don't pay that attorney for the estate work, the estate as an entity will pay him, from probate property, and after court approval. That may require liquidation of assets, but if so, then so be it. As to the trust work, such attorney may work on a deferred fee basis and once you are confirmed as trustee, then you could liquidate assets to pay the attorney, on an hourly basis.

    If you have trouble finding someone, try the referral panel of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. They have a list of probate lawyers who will accept small estates and modest means matters. Ask the referral person at the Bar Association for a small estate, modest means matter attorney.

    Good luck.

  2. Frank A Selden

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . If I was an attorney for one of her children I would say "sucks to be you". The trust didn't own the property. Now she is passed and you want the child to sign over the property to her. Sounds to me as if the property belong to her estate rather than the trust. Even if you did manage to have the property signed over to the trust, if I worked in the clerk's office I would not accept the trust without the signature page as a valid document under which to record the title.

    Initiate a probate for her estate and tell the court the truth. Perhaps a sympathetic court magistrate will issue some ruling affirming the trust after examining your evidence.

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