Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My mother passed away in 2008 and my step father passed away 8 months later. They had a family trust spliting their estate amonst my self, my sister and our step brother. Each also had pour over wills giving everything not listed in the trust to the Trust as beneficiary. 20 days before he died my step father changed his will and gave everything to our step brother. He is also t rustee and executor. We asked for an accounting from our step brother and he just gave an account of a couple of bank accounts and no inventory. It also only started from the date of our step father's death, not our mother's. Does't he have to provide an inventory and accounting for the estate from the date of our mother's death? If not, why not?

Asked on 4/02/12, 12:23 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Michele Cusack Pollak & Cusack
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It depends on what the documents say. If the trust remained wholly revocable after your mother's death, and you are no longer a beneficiary, you may not be entitled to an accounting at all.

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4/02/12, 8:11 am
Michele Cusack Pollak & Cusack
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p.s. unless of course there was duress, undue influence or your dad was not competent to make the changes. You should consult an attorney with experience in estate litigation.

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4/02/12, 1:41 pm
Bruce Givner Givner & Kaye, A Professional Corporation
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Your step brother only owes an accounting from the date of your step-father's death if your step-father was the sole beneficiary of your mother's estate. However, if you petition the court for an accounting back to the date of your mother's death, the court is likely to grant it. Courts bend over backwards to provide information to beneficiaries.

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3/25/13, 3:59 pm

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