If my brother and I are both trustees and beneficiaries of a trust my late father left my late aunt, how can I receive my share of the trust?

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If my brother and I are both trustees and beneficiaries of a trust my late father left my late aunt, how can I receive my share of the trust?

We both have equal shares and I know her estate has been settled. She passed away 9 months ago. My brother is not making any effort to settle the trust. He is well off and does not need the money but I do. What steps do I take to get my share of the trust?

Asked on July 27, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Do you have a copy of the trust agreement where you and your brother are its beneficiaries? If so, there should be language in the trust document stating what can be done if the designated trustee (your brother) fails to settle the trust. If there is, follow the trust's terms on the issue.

I would also write your brother of the need to settle the trust and as its trustee, he owes you fiduciary obligations as a beneficiary stating you want it settled soon. Keep a copy of the letter for future reference. If the trustee brother ignores your request, your option is to file a petition in the county and state where your late aunt lived seeking your brother's removal as the trust's trustee and placement of a new trustee to settle the estate.

You should consult with a Wills and trust attorney on the subject.

Good luck.


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