How do I receive my inheritance from a Trust?

My father died 3 years ago, leaving a stipulation in his Trust for the benefit of his paramour. She is to receive a monthly payout of $1000 until the day she dies (she is 85) and then the Trust is to be dissolved in favor of me, my brother (the trustee) and my sister (the successor trustee). A provision in the Trust states that an annuity can be purchased to accomplish this or a separate Trust can be divided off for her benefit. My brother refuses to do this. There is a provision in the trust to allow his to use the funds for my benefit to purchase a home for me. My brother refuses to do this. I am a poor widow, 65 years of age, with only social security to live on. Both of my siblings are well off. My father’s paramour flew up to his funeral in a private jet hired for the occasion and just simply does not need this monthly stipend. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on August 11, 2018 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry fopr your loss.  The duties of a Trustee is governed by state statute but generally speaking, a Trustee must not favor one of the beneficiaries over another.  They do have a lot of power and discretion and challenging their decisions can become a long and costly battle in court.  Can you gain the help of your sister on this?  You may be able to Petition the Trust to buy you the house but how the provisions are written are governed by state law and need to be read by an attorney in your state.  I would suggest that you ask around (local Bar Association or someone you trust) for a GREAT Trusts and Estates lawyer and then call him or her and ask if you can retain their services on a consulttion basis at an hourly rate.  You need an opinion letter.  Cap the fee.  Just to see if you have a shot.  Good luck.


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