If a child under 18 has been left money in a Will that has been placed “in trust”, do they have the legal right to know?

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If a child under 18 has been left money in a Will that has been placed “in trust”, do they have the legal right to know?

Divorced parents. Grandparent has passed. We believe children were possibly left money or monies “in trust” for education, etc. Teenage child now heading to university. Does she have the legal right to know if money was left for her or does the trustee have the right to keep this knowledge from the recipient? Must the trustee provide this information or only if questioned?

Asked on January 31, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I get the feeling that the Executor of the Will probably notified your ex as guardian of his child, correct?  And you were not advised of anything?  If the Will left money to be deposited in an account in trust for your daughter then the Will should so state.  If you did not get to read the Will then you can now.  A Will is public record once it is filed in the Probate Court.  So go down to the Court in the county in which her grandparent resided at the time of her death and look it up.  Then she can indeed inquire of the Executor of the Will what happened to the funds.  The Executor should be listed.  If there is a trustee the trustee also has a fiduciary duty here as well. I might consult with an attorney on the matter just to check and see what happened.  Good luck  


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