My mother passed away a few years ago leaving a couple of properties, several bank accounts with my brother in charge as a trustee. I'm one of beneficiary. He has been very uninformative as far as what exactly my mother left.One day his probate attorney sent me a letter stating my brother sold two properties. I asked him to send me copies of the sale records several times to check the exactly how much he sold the property but he seems that he will not anytime soon. Any advise will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
3 Answers from Attorneys
Obntain the services of a probate/trust litigation attorney to file a petition for an accounting of the trust assets, income and expenses, and keep his feet to the fire on accounting to you; sounds like brother has not been forthcoming with information you need to determine if you are receiving all you are entitled per the trust. The attorney will need to see a copy of any and all trust document to date including the trust to determine his course of conduct re your brother's actions in management of the trust. The above is known as beneficiary representation, when consulting with an experienced attorney.
The Probate Code in California requires that the executor in a probate, or a trustee of a trust, render accountings on a periodic basis. It seems that your brother is not keeping you informed of the transactions as required as well.
I'm not sure the proper initial step is retaining litigation counsel and filing with the court, but, you should retain an attorney to represent you and that attorney should request an accounting. Litigation is expensive and unless there is no cooperation in getting information, should be a last resort.
If you are a beneficiary of a trust, or an heir to a trustor who has passed away, you are entitled to a copy of the trust and an accounting.