Hello My mother recently passed away. She remarried in 1976 here in California. During that time she and my stepfather had many investments and properties. I am not familiar with her will. She told me that they had a Living Trust and that I would be receiving half of the estate. I was told by my mother that my stepsister is the Executor of the Estate. At this point, what are my rights and how do I go about handling things in order to know my rights and protect any of the Estate. I am not very close to my stepsister and am concern that things may not be carried out as my mother intended. Thank you for your assistance.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Your first step is to get a copy of the will and trust. They are most likely with your stepsister. You will need to contact your stepsister to obtain a copy of those documents, as they are not publicly available anywhere. I would first contact her by phone, then by letter, then through an attorney if she does not respond.
Once you have done that, you can get a better sense of your rights to inherit. Being in the trust will also allow you to ask questions of your sister as to what is happening in the estate, and even demand a formal accounting of the transactions she makes in the name of the estate.
Estate matters can go smoothly, or cause intense division in the family. If it's the latter, you will almost certainly need help from a lawyer. Let us hope that you and your sister can work together to transfer all the assets and pay all the last bills of your mother.
Charles R. ("Rick") Perry