How can I find a trust set up in my name 30+ years ago?

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How can I find a trust set up in my name 30+ years ago?

My mother passed away and my father sued the hospital; there was a settlement. It has come to my attention recently there were trusts set up for my brother and I. My dad went through a spending frenzy, and my grandfather always told my aunts to not worry, he can’t touch the kids money. They will have money for college, than recieve the bulk of it at a certain age. Can you point me in the right direction to uncover the truth behind this so I can recoup moneys due to us? I am worried that my parents have been able to access this and everythings gone.

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Although 30 plus years in a long amount of time, it is possible that the court may still have a record of what happened, either in a hard copy or on microfilm.  So you need to first try that route.  If the proceeds were placed in a special account for your benefit or a long term annuity, then the court records should indicate where that is or was.  Next, if the funds were placed in a trust it is possible that the trust obtained its own EIN number (a social security number for entities) and that the trust filed taxes.  You can try and see about that.  You can also try to see if any money went unclaimed to the state.  Next, if there was a trust set up in a bank it is most likely a local bank.  You can canvas the area to see if you can find out anything.  Finally, your family may be a good source of information but they may just not be aware of that.  Probe them; look at old records of accounts that could be in the attic, etc.  Good luck. 


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