Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

I received a notification from my father's trust attorney's office stating I am an heir to the family trust. Since his wife died on the 11th of July of this year the trust was split and hers became irrevocable. The question I have is, it states, "Warning: You may not bring an action to contest the Trust more than 120 day from the date this notification by the Trustees is served upon you or 60 days from the date on which a copy of the terms of the trust is mailed or personally delivered to you during that 120-day period, whichever is later." The trustee's letter is dated September 9th 2021 and I requested by normal mail on the 7th of December a detailed copy along with how the trust is funded. I have not heard anything back. (Note: I am going to send out another request on Monday USPS Express/signature required to be safe). I feel the trustee (My dad's wife's son) has taken advantage of my father's estate, convinced him to turn over his homes to the him and the trustee's brother outside the trust just before my dad's wife died and have sold those homes and neither myself or my dad have any idea what they did with the money. My dad is 98 and has been diagnosed with dementia years ago and has been living in a retirement home for two years now. What I want to know is how much time I have. Do I need to find an attorney by the end of the 120 days, or does it give me some leeway once I receive the copy of the trust I have an additional 60 days and what if the trustee does not send the copy or sends it after the 120 days? I need some time to get my finances in line to hire an attorney. I live in Idaho and my dad lives in California.


Asked on 12/18/21, 3:18 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

You are too late to contest the trust. The 120 days has run out. If your father and his wife transferred assets outside the trust while he was elderly and especially if he was mentally incapacitated, you probably still have recourse, because that is not contesting the trust itself. You need to contact the Dept. of Adult Protective Services in the county where your dad lives. They investigate financial misconduct related to elders.

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Answered on 12/19/21, 11:07 am


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