Is a trustee required to hire an impartial attorney to represent the Trust?

The trustee in question is represented by the same attorney who wrote up the amended survivors Trust. I want to make sure there is no funny business. I would also like to know if I am a beneficiary, can I request to see the old Trusts even

though the new Trust stipulates that the previous versions are void?

Asked on September 16, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) No, there is no law against or inherent conflict of interest in the lawyer who set up the Trust representing it. In fact, it is common and often advantageous: the lawyer understands the trust well, having created it.
2) If you believe you are or may be a beneficiary and they will not voluntarily show you the trust document, you could bring a lawsuit in chancery seeking accesss to it--but the problem you have is that you have to file the lawsuit *first*, to get access to the documents, etc. and before you know whether you are a beneficiary. If you are not a beneficiary, you will spend time, effort, and money for no reason. If you want to explore that option, consult with your own trusts and estates attorney.


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