How to Get a Copy of a Trust in California
Ask the Successor TrusteeThe first step is to simply ask the successor trustee (person responsible for administering the trust) for a copy. Make sure he or she has your complete contact information. You can do this informally if the situation calls for a higher level of sensitivity. Don't wait too long before asking. If you don't receive a copy within 10 days, then go to Step 2.
Ask AgainIf your first informal attempt was unsuccessful then send a letter, by certified return receipt mail, demanding that a complete copy of the estate plan, including the trust and any amendments be delivered to your (completely specified) address within 10 days. Give notice that failure to comply with your request will result in judicial intervention. That should do the trick in most cases. If not, go to Step 3.
Retain an AttorneyIf the informal and formal attempts to get a copy of the trust didn't work, you should be a little worried. The law is clear and there is no good reason to without a trust from named beneficiaries. You should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney will very likely file documents with the court, to produce a citation requiring the successor trustee to appear in court and produce a copy of the trust. The successor trustee may be subject to sanctions in the amount of the attorney fees you paid to get the trust.