What to do if my only sister is the trustee of my mom’s living Will and she has taken anything that she could get her hands on?

My mother died almost 5 years ago. Now my sister lives in the home and gives me nothing and stalls to reach any kind of agreement. She had the home evaluated thinking it was cheaper but now sees she has to give me more but won’t. What can I do? So far, she has taken all her jewelry and gold coins, her car and home belongings. I don’t have much money but need to get this taken care of. Can anyone help?

Asked on March 20, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation and for your loss. Did she have a living trust and your sister is the trustee?  A living will has to do with medical treatment so my guess is that it was a living trust.  You sister is the fiduciary meaning she has great power but is subject to great scrutiny. Mishandling a Trust is not only a civil issue but a criminal one as well.  I know that you do not have a lot of money but it may be necessary to file a petition to have her removed. See if an attorney will help you by giving you a consultation rate while you handle the court appearances and filing of papers yourself.  They can help you with the paperwork.  Good luck.


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