Is it illegal for my aunt to not allow me access to my trust fund?

My mothers will states I'm am to have the money at thirty, for college, down payment on a house when I'm twenty five, or as needed when its essential to my well being. Right now I'm twenty three and separated from my wife and getting a divorce. I don't have enough money to afford a new place to live. Is she required to allow me to have some money to move. If I don't move I'll be living in the street.

Parker, CO -

Attorney Answers (5)

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Estate Planning Attorney - Greenwood Village, CO
Answered

My colleagues are absolutely correct. Ask for a copy of the trust, which you are entitled to as the beneficiary, and take it to an attorney to see if your situation falls into an area in which you might be able to file a court action to have her enforce the trust.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in... more
Robert John Murillo

Robert John Murillo

Estate Planning Attorney - Boulder, CO
Answered

Your rights depend entirely on the terms of the trust. You don't have a right to any of those funds and the trustee has no authority to release any funds, regardless of your financial situation, unless that is provided in the trust. Ask for the trust and speak with an attorney.

This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not... more
John R Phillips

John R Phillips

Estate Planning Attorney - Centennial, CO
Answered

Like all legal questions, the answer is "it depends." The trust document will determine whether she has discretionary authority, or not. If not, she has to abide by the dictates of the trust document. If she has discretion, she should follow the guidelines, if any, in the trust document. If she has discretion, is it in her sole judgment? Then, if she has the authority, is there any reason why she should exercise such authority in one way or the other? You would normally have to show a failure to exercise appropriate discretion to force disbursement.

In my experience, the most appropriate answer may well be that it is situations like this is that is why the trust was written the way it was written in the first place rather than just giving you the money outright.

Steven M Zelinger

Steven M Zelinger

Estate Planning Attorney - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

I assume your aunt is the trustee? One would have to read the trust to determine if a distribution to you is appropriate but if it says that the funds are available to you for "health, education, maintenance and support" or some such similar language you may have a case. If the trustee won't comply you will need your own attorney to force her hand.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more
Karen A Kishbaugh

Karen A Kishbaugh

Estate Planning Attorney - Denver, CO
Answered

The terms of the trust dictate what distributions your aunt (presuming she is the trustee) may make. Although she may have some discretion, the trust may require that she make some distributions, but she may be prohibited from making others. Remember that she may have liability if she makes distributions that she should not have made. You really should have an attorney look at the specific language of the trust.

This answer is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. All facts are necessary to... more

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