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Probate Question. Am I required to give a deposition without knowing exactly what I am being accused of from the petitioner?

Sacramento, CA |

I received a letter from the Petitioner's attorney to take a deposition. I am required to bring all financial record since becoming what they claim is "De-facto Trustee".

In the past, neither the attorney nor petitioner has been willing to answer any of my questions. They have not provided any dates, the amount of money allegedly misused.

My question is:
1). Is this deposition is court ordered
2). Am I required to give this deposition without knowing exactly what I am being accused of
3). If this is not court ordered and I am not required to give a deposition, do I need to file through the court a response refusing to take the deposition

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

You need an attorney in order to be advised of your rights. To answer some of your questions, a deposition is always within the purview of a court action that has already been filed so it is "court ordered." You may be required to attend the deposition but you need an attorney to know what questions you are or are not required to actually answer.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:



Thank you for the direct and straight answers. I will take your advice.


Attorney Zelinger has given one of his customary excellent responses. I would simply add that you should be represented by counsel, here, not only for the deposition, but also for the underlying case. You want an attorney at the deposition who can keep opposing counsel in line and make sure that you do not say anything that might damage your position. You are apparently being accused of breach of fiduciary duties and many states have laws that could make you liable for up to three times actual damages. You do not want to mess around by trying to save a few $ and not take this seriously. You are in way over your head and you need legal help, right away.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!



Thank you all for the responses and information. I will take the advice.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick


You are very welcome! Best of luck to you with the case!


Attorneys Frederick and Zellinger have provided you with good advice. You need counsel to represent your interests in the action.

** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client relationship. 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. Law Offices of Eric J. Gold Telephone: 818-279-2737 Email: service@egoldlaw.con

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