How to get a copy of a will/trust

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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How to get a copy of a will/trust

My mother died 2 months ago. It has been a few years since we have talked due to another legal issue. I have a older sister who is very controlling and I believe has kept my Mom from contacting me. How can I find out if I am still mentioned in the family irrevocable trust?

Asked on October 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As someone who has seemingly good grounds to believe she is a beneficiary, you can bring a legal action against yoru mother's estate and/or the trust, as well as against any person named (or whom you believe is named) as an executor or trustee, for "an accounting": that is, to have the court look into how the estate or trust is being managed. In the course of this legal action, you will be able to use the tools of "discovery" (e.g. document production requests) to get a copy of the will and any trust documents; the court can also enforce the terms of the will and/or trust, to make sure you get anything to which you are entitled.
This kind of action is complex: you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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