Having A Difficult Time Getting A Copy Of The Will Or Trust
A common issue that many people going through an inheritance dispute encounter is the inability to obtain copies of the Will or Trust. Trustees or Executors who intend to defraud an estate usually try and withhold such documents to prevent proper distribution of assets to the necessary parties. In the event that a Trustee or Executor refuses to provide a copy of the Will or Trust, there are measures you can take.
If you are beneficiary , or an heir at law, you are entitled to see a copy of the Will and Trust upon passing of the decedent in CA….even if you are not in the trust, as an heir at law, you have a right to copies. The first measure of action to take, if not provided a copy willfully by the Executor of Trustee, is to formally demand for one in writing. If the Trustee or Executor does not respond, or still refuses to do so within 60 days, then alternative action will need to be taken. Wills are supposed to be lodged with the courts 30 days after the decedent has passed. So, it may be possible to circumvent the executor, and obtain a copy from the courts if proper protocol was followed. Although it is required by law for Wills to be filed with the courts, this is often unlikely, as most people try to avoid probate, and pass assets outside of the courts, especially if the executor is attempting to steal or withhold assets. Contrary to Wills, Trusts are considered a private document and are not required to be filed. Therefore, there is no way to circumvent the trustee to obtain a copy. When a demand letter is not effective, and the Trustee or Executor refuses to comply, action must then be taken in court. A petition will need to be filed with the probate court, essentially asking the court to order the Trustee or Executor to provide a copy. If that still does not force their hand, then a hearing will be held in court, and they will need to appear before the judge.
If you believe your inheritance is in jeopardy, please reach out to The Inheritance Recovery Attorneys to see what you can do. Our firm offers free consultations and specializes in trust and will litigation. We are here to help you protect your inheritance and make sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out honestly.