My mother died recently my brother is executor and he is being very sneaky and not telling me anything about what is going on

she had everything in a trust, but nothing was listed it was stated in the trust to be split 50/50 between the 2 of us. He has not told me anything except that we will get an appraisal on the house, I know she had bank accounts stocks etc... but since I dont know what she had and he is executor and has control of everything I have no way of finding out what is going on, he is not talking to me and being very secretive I dont know what to do?

Las Vegas, NV -

Attorney Answers (4)

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Answered

First of all, there are a couple of questions based on your terminology. You claim that your brother is executor, but that there is a trust. If there is an executor, that is because there is an estate. There may also be a trust, but that would be handled by the trustee, not by an executor. I am going to assume that there is no estate, but rather a trust and that your brother is trustee. I will further assume that your brother has an attorney advising him, because it would be somewhat reckless of him to act as trustee without one.

If that is the case, then there are requirements that your brother MUST meet, to fulfill his fiduciary duties as trustee. You do not state WHEN your mother died, or how long your brother has been in charge of things. He is required to provide you with a copy of the trust agreement, as well as an inventory of the trust assets. He has some time before he needs to do this, but it is not indefinite. He does not need to give you a "blow by blow" account of the administration of the trust. Generally, a trustee needs to account regularly, and the trust may provide for more frequent accounting periods, but it may be as little as once a year. So he may be doing exactly what he is required to do.

Which brings us to the bottom line. You have not given us enough facts to determine whether your brother is "being sneaky" or if he is simply handling things the way he is supposed to. You need to at least consult with an attorney so you can determine what his obligations are and what rights you have as beneficiary. That way, if your brother fails to follow through, you can call him on it. But if he does what he is supposed to do, you will know what to expect, as well.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more
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Mark S. Katz

Mark S. Katz

Probate Attorney - Las Vegas, NV
Answered

I echo the comments in the other answer. There are a lot of facts that seem to be communicated in error or that are missing. Bottom line is, if you feel there is something wrong happening, you need to take anything and everything you can readily find and go see an attorney in your area ASAP.

This is not specific legal or tax advice. My posting this answer is for general, non-specific information only.... more
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Jonathan Craig Reed

Jonathan Craig Reed

Probate Attorney - Las Vegas, NV
Answered

Mr. Frederick's answer makes some good points.
Under Nevada law--I'm assuming your mother was a Nevada resident--the successor trustee of her trust must give you an accounting and if you feel the successor trustee is dragging his feet distributing trust assets you can sue for action and an accounting in court.
However, the likely result of your suing is that your brother will retain a lawyer whose fee will be paid out of the trust assets and you will have to pay a lawyer. Your legal bill, at the court's discretion, will be either paid out of the trust account or entirely by you.
So you can see that a legal fight with your brother can result in a lot of your mother's estate going to lawyers instead of you and your brother.
Therefore, it would be good advice for you to make every effort to see if you and your brother can meet and see if the two of you can resolve things without spending a ton of money on lawyers. Perhaps, there is some other family member who can communicate well with both of you and facilitate you and your brother coming to an understanding.
You said your mother died recently. In my experience some people drag their feet getting estates settled but it doesn't necessarily mean they are being deceitful.
If you absolutely can't come to terms to with your brother you can hire a lawyer such as myself but contested trust and probate issues are expensive to take to court.

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Howard Robert Roitman

Howard Robert Roitman

Probate Attorney - Las Vegas, NV
Answered

Trustees are required to provide information to the trust's beneficiaries as reasonably requested and to keep and render accurate accounts

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more
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