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How can a irrovacable trust be searched for?

New York, NY |

My husband passed away 2 months ago and I am his only surviving heir I beleive there may have been an irrevocable trust set up by my husbands mother who is still alive. I was wondering is there anyway to locate the trust document is it set up in a bank account with an account number? Or can this be something the mothers lawyer can throw away and nobody can find? My husband worked for his family in a real estate LLC business where there are alot of assets and my husbands family are trying to do there best to hide these assets due to being a different religion then them. How can a irrevocable trust be found? It there an account number or is it just a document my husbands mother lawyer has?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

I am very sorry for your loss. The lawyer can not hide or destroy the trust instrument as that would be a violation of the attorney's ethical and professional obligation subjecting him or her to discipline. The irrevocable trust would have a separate tax id number. The trust would have a much higher tax rate than your husband's individual tax rate. For this reason, income typically would be distributed to your husband annually to obtain a distribution deduction at the trust level. Review your prior income tax returns for income from the trust. You could also of course make a written request to his mother and the attorney especially of the attorney also represented your husband. Note that while you refer to yourself as the only surviving heir, the trust itself will control who will receive any distributions. Trusts are often written with an intent to provide distributions to blood relatives to the exclusion of spouses. You may also seek to conduct public record searches for other assets that could be linked to your jusband. Many attorneys have access to public records and my be able to conduct a search for you. Once again, I am very sorry for your loss.

Asker

Posted

My husbands mothers families lawyer is very unethical the mother owns the building his law office is in. I am his only heir as he didnt have any children and im his surviving spouse of his estate which the sister says he all he owns is a condo for 500 and 300k in the bank however the trust is a seperate issue. The trust would have been set up by the mother prior to our marriage so it couldnt have discluded me because i did not exist when written. My husbands family hates me because I am of a different religion. They are denying any other accounts as of now. So if the mother denies a trust existed and her lawer denies it as well is there any way to prove the trust. I mean is a trust actually in a bank with an account number or how could i find out if there was a ein for this account? I go to sergogates court on friday to file for admin letters and really know the family are hiding assets. Was wondering if the courts can order that the trust be located by my mother in laws social or how we will find the assets or find out if he is an owner of any of the LLC which are apartment builings I beleve he may be a partial owner in these LLCs for more then 5 different apt buildings just was wondering if someone hides these assets how you can locate them?

Richard Bryan

Richard Bryan

Posted

If you are trying to do this without a lawyer you are making a big mistake. Yes of course it's easy to file the papers, then what? You will end up on the very short end of the stick. You need an aggressive lawyer who will use your authority as a decedent's authority to uncover all assets you are entitled to. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Rick Bryan, Esq. 212 979-2868

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

I agree with both Mr. Bryan and Mr. Goralka. You need a lawyer to assist you with this.

Posted

Once you are appointed as fiduciary of your husband's estate you will have all legal authority to turn over every rock to search for assets or information needed to collect all property your husband had any interest in. But it takes experience to know how to go about this; there are a dozen different avenues and sometimes you have to go back to court for special authority to get certain types of information. You need an experienced and aggressive probate lawyer on your side. Filing the papers is the easy part; the family is going to walk all over you until you realize you have to hire a lawyer. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the family will be successful in hiding and transferring assets.

Posted

Your best bet, based on your fact pattern, would be to retain a trust attorney for assistance. That being said, it is possible that the trust you are searching for may provide for the exclusion of spouses as beneficiaries (the beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries can be specifically defined). You need to consult with a local attorney to go though all of your facts and circumstances to determine the best method to proceed.

When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.

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