Brother destroyed copy of family trust, attorney who made up the trust is deceased, how do I go about getting a copy or the original?

UPDATED: Jun 13, 2009

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Brother destroyed copy of family trust, attorney who made up the trust is deceased, how do I go about getting a copy or the original?

My parents had their attorney make up a family trust in 2003 (approximately). The trust went missing about 8 months ago after dad gave my brother the trust to examine. My brother is a bit nuts, he demanded that my parents give him complete power of attorney, or he would have nothing to do with the family. My brother’s best friend stated that he told him he threw the trust in the garbage. The attorney who made up the trust is deceased. Any advice as to how to obtain a copy or the original trust? Thank you.

Asked on June 13, 2009 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

First, is your Father still alive?  Did he give him the original or a copy?  Contact the attorney's family and ask what happened to the files.  An attorney is obligated to keep files for a certain period of time (7 years here in New York) and they may have a copy in the file or if they transferred his files to someone, then they may have it.  Sometimes certain documents - like Wills - can be filed with the Probate Court as well.  You can check if the Trust was one of them.

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