Can a trust ever go to probate?

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Can a trust ever go to probate?

I received notification regarding a cash bequest from a trust but I have not seen the trust instrument. If I sign the release without seeing the trust instrument, could I be missing important information? In the letter I received, it stated, It was the decedants wish that her estate be privately settled to avoid probate”. If she has a trust, why would it say that – hence my opening question. I live thousands of miles away, I know the estate was quite a bit larger than what may be indicated by the bequest and there are no children involved. While she was still alive, someone wisked her out of her home and put her in a nursing home and she was prevented from receiving contact via telephone.

Asked on April 6, 2013 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are advised immediately contact a probate litigation lawyer, for beneficiary representation, in the area where the person died, to demand a copy of the trust from the attorney or trustee, so you can verify the sum coming to you is correct;  if the lawyer receives no response, then he/she can file a petition for an accounting to verify the sum being proposed to pay you.

Do not sign that release. Get independent verification of the proposal is correct as to the sum being offered.

 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Yes the trust can be pushed into probate for all kinds of reasons, ie fraud, lack of mental capacity.


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