Mother died. Everything was titled into a trust, and I am the trustee. Me and my 3 siblings are going to receive equal shares of the estate. 1 of my siblings is developmentally disabled and will inherit under a special needs trust.
I found one investment account worth $20K not titled into the trust. Can I sign a small estate affidavit, as trustee to get the funds and have the funds made payable to the trust estate? I don't want to bother my siblings to sign a small estate affidavit and my one sibling literally cannot sign. I dont want to open a probate for this, but if i can't sign the affidavit as trustee, i may not have another option.
You should have no problem in signing a small estate affidavit stating that, as the trustee, you are entitled to the $20,000 investment account that is not titled in the name of the trust. I have done the same thing in another estate situation under similar circumstances.
I agree with Mr. Dunn as long as your mother also had a "pour-over" will that named the trust as its sole beneficiary. I will defer to him on the upper limit for utilizing a small estate affidavit in AZ. It is $100,000 of personal property here in WA. Here in WA you would not need to obtain signatures of the trust beneficiaries as long as there is a "pour-over" will. You should include any other probate assets left outside the trust, if any.
The two other gentlemen are correct. You can sign a small estate affidavit. It is probably better if your mother had a pour-over will (almost every lawyer who prepares trusts includes this in the package of documents) but even if she didn't have one, you may be able to use a family settlement agreement to authorized you to proceed in that manner.
This answer does not create and attorney-client relationship. You can only create that relationship by meeting with Mr. Holt and signing a retainer agreement.
Difficult to give you a definitive answer without seeing all of the documents and knowing all of the circumstances. I suspect that an attorney may have been involved to draft the trust and special needs trust. If so, I would expect that the attorney would have also drafted a Will with a "pour-over" provision that transferred all or some property into the trust. It the investment account was transferred into the trust in this manner, you will have whatever powers the trust gives you as trustee over the property in the trust. If not, a probate proceeding will probably be required and you may be able to do the probate through an informal procedure. The investment company holding the money will probably require a court order if the property has not been transferred into the trust by a Will. I suggest you consult a competent probate attorney.
This answer is intended to provide general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Arizona law requires a written engagement agreement between an attorney and client. Many claims and defenses in legal matters involve time period limitations. Competent legal counsel should be consulted to discuss your specific circumstances in detail.
Maybe. It depends on if there is a will that pours everything in the trust or not. If there is a will, as the trustee you can sign the affidavit. If there is not a will you would need an agreement signed by all 3 of you (including your disabled sibling) agreeing everything will go to you as trustee. However, if your disabled sibling is receiving government benefits signing the agreement could disqualify her/him from the benefits. You would be committing fraud by signing an affidavit that you are entitled to the whole $20,000 if there is no agreement or will. If your sibling is receiving government benefits I advise that you consult with a knowledgeable elder law attorney.
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