Are Will or Trust Details Being Witheld From You?

Do you believe that you might have been named in a loved one's will, like your father's, but were never shown any will or trust documents and perhaps a sibling or other family member is now trying to transfer your loved one's assets into their own name and refuse to produce these documents? You might be thinking, what do I do? Luckily, there are several options.

First, you can check with the probate court in the county where your loved one lived to see if a will as been filed. You will need the name of the deceased and their date of death. However, do not be surprised if nothing is found. Many times wills are never filed with the court as they might never have been written in the first place.

If you cannot locate anything through the court, contact the attorney of the deceased or check their home if possible. If they are a family member you may even be able to look through any bank deposit boxes as long as you bring proof of relation and a death certificate.

If you believe that someone is absolutely refusing to produce a will to you, you have the right under California Probate Code Section 8201 to petition the court to order said person to produce the documents. In case of a trust, sections 16060.5 - 16061.8 of the same code requires the trustee to give notice to decedent's children, even if they are not named in the trust. And under this section you can sue the trustee for damages and attorney's fees if they failed to provide notice to you.

I would recommend hiring a knowledgeable California Probate Attorney if you find yourself stuck in this kind of situation. The process involves a lot of time, energy, and money so hiring a professional to help you is going to make things a lot easier.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.

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