My Father died 3 years ago. He was married to my StepMother for 25 years. During their marriage they accumulated significant Assets valued at over 6 million at the time of his death. They had created a Revocable AB Marital Trust with a Pour Over Will. In addition to investments and real estate held jointly, they had several Life Insurance Policies and Annuities where by the Trust was the Contingent Beneficiary.
I was my Father's only son and he wanted to leave half of his estate to me, including the funds in the Life Insurance and Annuity Policies. I do have a step brother and I am very concerned that my StepMother is going to leave everything to him.
To date, I have received no information from my Stepmother the Trustee. I have asked her repeatedly for an accounting of my Father's assets.
What are my rights and what should I do at this point?
3 Answers from Attorneys
You need to hire an attorney to open negotiations with your step mother to ask to see the trust under the theory that you might be a beneficiary. If you are a beneficiary under the trust, you have the ability to force accountings of the trustee.
If you have further questions, feel free to call my office.
A beneficiary of a Trust has the right under MD law to petition for removal of the current Trustee and to question/correct the administration of the Trust and associated accounting and/or tax reports. Available removal grounds may be: breach of trust, Trustee is unfit or unwilling to administer the trust correctly/effectively, Trustee persistently fails to administer the trust correctly/effectively, etc. An action may also exist under MD law for Trustee liability concerning the management of the Trust over time. Further information needs to be developed in connection with the filing of such legal actions. There are a number of fact-specific issues under MD law that need to be carefully worked through concerning the Trust Instrument and the administration of the Trust. An experienced trusts and estates attorney should be able to handle this under MD law. Please note that my legal services are available only with a signed engagement agreement in accordance with the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct applicable to attorneys licensed in the state of MD. If I can be of any help to you, contact my offices as I would be pleased to provide legal/tax support.
Robert Beatson II; 9-2-2009, 12:10 p.m. EST
Law Offices of Robert Beatson, II
9818 Glynshire Way
Potomac, MD 20854
Licensed to practice law in DC, MD, VA, and NY
Your rights will be governed by the language and terms of the Trust. There is no simple answer here other than you probably need to retain an attorney to review the trust document, counsel you on your rights and assist in your endeavors to obtain the information you seek