Trusts & Estates Law/contesting a trust
My mother and my step father created a trust back in the 1990's in the state of Missouri. I have not seen the trust. My brother was the executor and has not followed up on anything. My mother passed away July 2013 and my step father is still living. My step fathers brother swooped in after my mothers passing and was made the POA for my step father. It is my understanding that the trust was set up as when both my mother and step father had passed, after all remaining debts were paid the remaining monies were to be divided equally between my mothers 6 children and my step fathers 2 children. My step fathers brother since being made POA has transferred the ownership of the home into one of my step fathers children name and the house has now been sold. My step father is being placed in a senior citizens establishment in the area where his brother resides (about 2 hours from the home that was sold). My step father is being directed on all actions by his brother and my mothers children are not being consulted in any matters. Do we, as my mothers children have any recourse to challenge the actions of my step father, his brother and or the trust itself?
Hi Leona - of course you have recourse. From what little you have shared (I have not seen any documents). The key is to get a copy of the trust. From your email I assume you can't just ask for due to family tension. However without documents no one can advise you. You can demand a copy and if don't get it, inform your step father's brother that you intent to get a judge to order him to turn over all documents and financial records. In your letter you may also want to remind him that he is PERSONALLY responsible for his actions and possibly your legal fees. It is unfortunately common to see this but you must act quickly. If I read this right you have legal right and they have a legal duty to inform you.
A stern letter may work, but if it doesn't be prepared to petition the probate court - meaning using an attorney. Of course whether you hire an attorney has to do with how much money is involved.
If I had the documents I could advise you better.