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What happens if the rep of a Will and a Trust does not honor the deceased's wishes, and withholds its contents from the family?

Jacksonville, FL |

My mother died 3 years ago. She had a Will and a Trust. Her husband (not my father) did not provide copies of the Will or the Trust until 6 months later, when I firmly asked for them. He then provided a copy of the Will, which may or may not be current, but he did not provide a copy of the Trust. I was unaware that the Trust had been omitted. It has recently come to light that my mother intended monetary gifts for my siblings and me in her Trust. Those were never forthcoming. Shortly following our mother's death, her husband remarried and revoked previous Wills and Trusts,. Are my siblings and I still entitled to the gifts my mother intended for us, and if so, how do we access her Trust to verify its contents, and if the gifts are there, how do we bring our ex-step-father to justice?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I would guess from your question and your outcome that the trust was a joint trust that could be amended by her husband and you would not be entitled to see the document.
If so-you do not have rights to the document or information about contents.
If your mother had her own trust-the husband has commited a crime and you have some serious decisions on how to proceed. If that is your thought-you need to meet with an attorney to discuss your options.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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Posted

The information that you are looking for from the former husband might not be disclosed by him short of a civil action in court - through discovery (depositions and requests for documents under penalty of contempt of court.) You should not try that litigation yourself - talk with an attorney.

If this answer was, in any way, helpful - please click a positive feedback below. This is a general discussion about legal questions and not a legal consultation. No attorney/client relationship exists. For a specific answer and advice on your specific legal matter, you should arrange a consultation with a practicing attorney.

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1 comment

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

The problem is, litigation could be very expensive, and depending on the terms of the trust, the children may not have any rights, whatsoever.

Posted

Stop messing around here. Get an estates litigation attorney immediately.

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 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

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