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Trusts & Estates Law/My sister won't show me the Living trust


Dear David,

My mother passed away a month ago. I know my mother made out a living trust and I believe my sister is the trustee.
I took care of my mother and her husband for close to 6 years as they both became ill. My sister took care of my mother
the last year of her life.
For some reason my sister refuses to show me the Living trust. Everytime I call her she has an excuse like she has to look
for it. I've caught her in 2 lies already regarding the will.
Is there anything I can do to force her to show me the will or trust? My mother left 2 homes one is paid for and one
is almost paid for. I believe my sister wants to take every thing for herself. Her last excuse is that she has to wait
5 to 6 weeks before she can get the death certificate. And her financial advisor gave me this excuse that she would
need 5 to 6 weeks before she could show me the trust because she has to pay all the debts left by my mother. It seems to me that she is dragging her feet because she wants to sell the properties?
Any advice you can offer will be highly appreciated.

         Best Regards, Diane

Hi Diane,

This is very common unfortunately.  You have a right to see the trust if you know or have reason to believe that you are a beneficiary.  

You have two choices:  1.  Send her a demand letter certified mail (better if an attorney drafts it.  2.  Petition the court to order her to give you a copy.  Trusts are private but the will is public if she actually probates it.  

Your letter should include language that references the fact that she has a fiduciary duty to all the beneficiaries and any actions taken by her that are not in your best interest she is PERSONALLY liable for.  Tell her this and She may also have to pay her and your legal fees if you are forced to seek a legal remedy.  

I hope the demand letter is enough to get her attention.  Just remember to tell her that you have a legal right to see the trust and she may be forced to anyway.  

Thank you for your question and please leave feedback when prompted.

David Disraeli

Trusts & Estates Law

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David Disraeli


I can answer general questions about estate planning and trusts. I can also answer questions about estate tax reduction and advanced charitable giving, family partnerships and asset protection. I may have already answered your question here: or here


I have worked for 24 years with clients and their attorneys to formulate estate plans to meet client goals. I have found many mistakes made by client attorneys and were able to have them corrected. I focus on making sure that beneficiaries are protected from current or future spouses and lawsuits so the wealth stays in the family. I have also published a book on Aging Parents which can be found on Amazon

President and founder of The Personal CFO Inc.


Certified Financial Planner 1994

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