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Estate Question

If you are the heir to an estate and they estate is put into a trust and a lawyer takes over the trust (the person has dementia) are the heirs entitled to see the amount of the estate and the spending the lawyer is authorizing? Who checks on the lawyers spending?

I hope I explained that correctly. A client of mine in a support group told me how she has no idea what is happening with her father's money because she is in the situation I tried to described above. Anybody have any knowledge of a situation like this.

by Anonymousreply 1805/04/2013

I would doubt it without power of attorney or some other kind of legal standing pertaining to the affairs of the person whose money is involved.

If they don't have it, I would guess they'd have to get a lawyer to make an application to a court to have access to the books. But on the other hand you'd think the arrangement would make some provision for accountability to somebody. It's also possible there's state law that requires the overseeing attorney to account somewhere for the money. I would guess as heirs, and likely relations, they could also make an application for appointment as joint trustees or something. They need their own lawyer sounds like.

by Anonymousreply 104/23/2013

As long as the lawyer is not a crook, she has noting to worry about; and as long as the father is alive, the money is not hers. The father is the one who made the lawyer the trustee. He did it because he apparently trusted him.

by Anonymousreply 204/23/2013

The age of the trustee agreement might also be a factor... if the father entered into it when the girl was a minor, and if now she is not, she might use that as a basis for arguing she should have at least oversight information.

by Anonymousreply 304/23/2013

It just seems weird that the lawyer won't even tell her how much he has. She is the sole heir. You think she'd be entitled to know the current total just so when the time comes and she inherits the money she could know if the spending was done responsibly.

by Anonymousreply 404/23/2013

She may not be the sole heir. It's not her money. Can't people get that through their head.

He may have a nice cat somewhere he's thinking of leaving it to. He may leave it to a charity or the homeless guy.

Tell this mooch to get a job and stop worrying about what isn't hers anyway.

by Anonymousreply 504/23/2013

She is the sole heir...she had a copy of the will with her. Whose money is it if not hers and her fathers

your rage is silly r5

she is not a fully functioning person physically. getting a high paying job is not an option for her.

by Anonymousreply 604/23/2013

R2 - perhaps the attorney is court-appointed?

If she is the heir, she has a right to know how the money is being handled.

by Anonymousreply 704/23/2013

OP, she needs an attorney - now.

Don't fuck around with this, it is not a do it yourself project. By the time she gets her inheritance it may have already been siphoned off by the trustee. If that seems too crass then the least she can do is look into it for her father's sake since he can't do it himself.

If the trustee is doing the right thing and every penny is properly disbursed and accounted for then the daughter looking into it won't be an issue for him.

Just get a lawyer immediately.

by Anonymousreply 804/23/2013

Estate law can be really fucked up. R8 is right. Get a lawyer.

by Anonymousreply 904/23/2013

Big question:is the estate in the form of a Trust? It is more difficult for attys to dick you around when that is the case. I am in a similar situation, and my Dad set up a Charitable Trust since I have no heirs. In other words the tax benefits for us are huge, but when I croak, the whole kit and kaboodle goes to the charities of my choice.

by Anonymousreply 1004/24/2013

#5 = Miss Joan Crawford, legendary movie star

by Anonymousreply 1104/24/2013

R8 is correct. Get a lawyer. The money is not hers, but the attorney in charge of the trust has to follow guidelines. You want to send a message to him that he has to follow the rules -- it's a lot harder to get the money back once he has taken it.

by Anonymousreply 1204/24/2013

FACT: There is a reason the father did not entrust the funds to the person in your support group.

Why is she inquiring to an ignorant party about this? OP, are you seriously going to take whatever information you get from this thread and rely on it and pass it on?

I'll give you some advice you can rely on. Stop practicing law and tell her to get a lawyer.

by Anonymousreply 1304/24/2013

She is not an heir unless and until he dies.

by Anonymousreply 1404/24/2013

true r13...I've asked a bunch of people and they say they might be a good reason they didn't trust the kid. I also am beginning to wonder about her debt etc. Oh well. I felt said for her but I think I better stay out of it. Interesting advice though. Thanks

by Anonymousreply 1504/24/2013

r14 is correct. Additionally, property transferred into the trust most likely will be EXCLUDED from the estate. In other words, the trust documents likely name a beneficiary and any property put into the trust will pass to the beneficiary by operation of law at the time of death. A will means nothing until the testator (the person who executes the will) dies and the will is probated (submitted to and approved by a court). For instance, a person worth 10 million could execute a will today naming me as sole beneficiary (sole heir). He lives another 10 years, gets married and buys a 10 million dollar house in his new wife's name. He dies the day after they move in. His estate is worthless. The heir gets nothing. Same scenario, except he doesn't buy a house, he puts the money in a trust. He names me as the trustee but names the new wife as the beneficiary. Upon his death, the 10 million automatically passes through the trust to the wife and me, the sole heir and trustee, gets nothing.

by Anonymousreply 1604/24/2013

First, it will depend on the laws of the specific state. They vary widely on issues of trusts and estates. In some states, the trustee has to file yearly reports--even quarterly in some states. The fact that the the father is still alive is important here. My great uncle and aunt in Rhode Island had no children, so my mother, her siblings, and cousins got all of my great uncle's money, but not until my great aunt died ten years after he did, having spent the last five years of her life in a nursing home with limited mental compacity. They knew the basic structure of the estate because my great uncle had told them, but they didn't know for sure how much was in it until she died. The lawyer had no communication with them until after she died. My great aunt had money herself, but that all went to my grandmother. Again, my grandmother knew she would get money but had no idea how much until her sister died.

In your case, OP, I would suggest she consult a lawyer, even just to be sure that the other lawyer is following the law in not telling her.

by Anonymousreply 1704/24/2013

One who is named in a will has no rights by virtue of that status until the testator dies. One has rights with regard to one's parents, but not because of the will; the will of a living person is no guarantee that one will inherit anything. Unless and until the parent is determined to be incompetent, the adult child has no rights with regard to that parent's assets.

by Anonymousreply 1805/04/2013
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