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What are laws for Ohio beneficiaries ? what rights do i have when the trustee and attorney wont provide me with documents ?

Hillsboro, OH |

I requested a copy of my trust set up through my mother and grandfather on January 8 of this year, didn't receive it until three weeks later. I made an appointment with the attorney yesterday, i have him on tape. he has apparently found a loophole in the trust and is able to take out funds. is this legal? what do i need to do? i have yet to see any financial documents in the five years that my mother has been gone. also was told to sign a paper to change my age to receive my first disbursement from 21 to 25.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

The facts and issues are too wide-ranging to be addressed In a worthwhile fashion in this forum. You need to meet with an experienced estate/trust attorney to review the situation.

Justin Jay Watling

Justin Jay Watling

Posted

The mere 3 week lag time I. Getting a copy of the Trust is reasonable. The paper that you say will change distribution age from 21 to 25 is puzzling. That alone is a good reson to consult with an attorney of your choice.

Posted

Mr. Watling has give you a good answer. There is not enough information to figure out exactly what is going on here. A couple possibilities are that (a) someone has misbehaved and they are trying to keep you in the dark, or, more likely in my experience, (b) your mother's attorney is worried that you are too young and impulsive to handle the inheritance and will blow through the money.

You need to consult with a trust law expert. You can find a list of the Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law at the website of the Ohio State Bar Association. If you cannot find someone nearer home, Hillsboro is not that far from our Centerville office.

Having said all that, the Ohio Trust Code requires trustees to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed, and to make at least annual accountings so the beneficiary can determine whether or not the trust is being properly administered. If you send a certified letter to the attorney for the trust, or to the trustee if that is not the attorney, you can demand an "accounting" under Ohio Revised Code Section 5808.13. If you do not receive the accounting, you can file an action in Probate Court to compel the trustee to provide the required report.

Be careful. While it is possible that the trust is being improperly administered, it is also possible that the trustee has your best interests at heart and is trying to protect you from youthful mistakes ... for which you may someday be grateful. But you are entitled to find out and you need to know. Good luck.

Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

you are correct, i am quite young. Soon to be 23, but my mother passed when i was 17. i was told to sign the documents because i was attending college and "wouldn't need" the first disbursement while in school. to find out later, the trustee said i was "too stupid" to figure out what's going on, or to do anything about it. i had never seen the trust but only one time (shortly after my mother passed) before i received my copies two weeks ago, every time i have asked for it the attorney and the trustee would "beat around the bush". i have tried finding an attorney to speak to, but none in hillsboro that i have spoken with handle trusts or estates. the whole situation in very complicated, and would be much easier to explain in person. the trustee (my aunt) is currently involved in a law suit with my mothers other siblings over my grandfathers estate(shes the trustee for him also), she is being removed. would there be a way if i could prove her incompetent to have her removed as my trustee?

CL Huddleston III

CL Huddleston III

Posted

I don't like the sound of this. While it is possible that your mother's siblings could all be deadbeats and your aunt the only responsible person in the family, that seems unlikely. You sound like a level-headed person. If your aunt has not been discharging her duties properly--and if she has been unwilling to provide you a copy of your trust and an accounting, she has been violating the law--there could be other things she is doing that prejudice your inheritance. I am aware of one reasonably-capable trust attorney in W. Courthouse, but none of whom I'm aware in Highland County. If you would like some help, please feel free to contact me through the Avvo website or through mine, which you can find in my Avvo profile, or in the text below my first answer above.

Posted

You have two good reponses-you should follow their advice.

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.