If I have to go to probate court for a matter involving a Trust but live in another sate, do I need to go before the court or may I have an attorney appear for me?

I was named in a Trust by my mother but my father asked the court to withhold my share since he felt I wasn’t responsible enough to have it. That was 12 years ago. I just received a copy of that Trust. I “couldn’t” be located at the time of the probate and the court granted his wishes.

Asked on September 8, 2014 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The courts can require that a party appear but if you are in a different state and it is a hardship then your attorney can make a first appearance and state your case on your behalf.  If, however, testimony is going to be needed (such as a hearing which seems likely here) then you are going to have to go (unless state law allows for testimony under oath in a different way, such as a deposition by an attorney in another state, etc).  Get's complicated. And expensive.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.