What to do if before my father died he told my sister and I he had created a Trust for us but we have no idea where to look for it?

He was trying to protect us from the other family members, so it may have been a irrevocable Trust and I understand they are harder to find.

Asked on July 14, 2014 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Because a Trust does not have to be filed anywhere (unless there is a contest) it is very difficult to locate them.  But I would start at the Probate court anyway. Hopefully your Father hired an attorney to prepare the trust.  Is there a family attorney that he trusted?  The trustee of the trust should have sent you and your sister a Notice to Beneficiaries which starts a time limitation (120 days to request a complete copy of the trust). But I am assuming that did not happen. Perhaps there is a way to back in to this, so to speak.  The Trust would have to be funded by an asset of Dad's so maybe look to assets that pass outside probate (Life Insurance Policies or any Plan that has a designated beneficiary form) that could name the Trust as the beneficiary.  If you have a list of all his assets and some are not included in the probate of his estate then perhaps those are the key you need here.  Good luck.

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