There is little more frustrating to a trust beneficiary than to be told they can’t have a copy of their loved one’s trust after their loved one has died. The excuses trustees create seems to be infinite. “I’ll send it soon” but it never arrives even when you call the trustee to remind him or her of their promise to send a copy. “The trust is a private document.” Don’t I get to see what I’ve been left? “I”m the trustee and if you give me trouble you will be disinherited;” nevermind that the trust says no such thing. The excuses are endless.
If you are a trust beneficiary or simply the child or grandchild of a deceased person you don’t have to accept these excuses… and you shouldn’t. All you need is a simple plan, a calendar, and some intestinal fortitude.
In California, a person named as a beneficiary in a trust, even an earlier version of a trust, and all the deceased relatives within two degrees of relation are entitled to a copy of the trust if they make a written demand. You can send the trustee the written demand or your probate or trust lawyer can. The trustee then has sixty days to send you a copy of the trust. If the sixty first day arrives and you have not received a copy of the trust then your lawyer can file a petition with the probate court to compel the trustee to provide you a copy of the trust. If your petition is granted you can also seek attorneys fees and court costs for having to file the petition to compel production of the trust.
AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307