What to do if my father passed away leaving a Trust containing property assets and placed the oldest child as trustee but they are non-communicative and estranged?

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What to do if my father passed away leaving a Trust containing property assets and placed the oldest child as trustee but they are non-communicative and estranged?

My father passed away 11 years ago. My brother doesn’t reveal any information to us. We believe he takes advantage and lives for free in one property and collects an income from a small business within in the trust. We aren’t sure exactly of how many assets are in the Trust or the value. We would like to see the value of the properties and force him to sell and distribute and dissolve the Trust. At one time my sister and I attempted to hire a lawyer but quickly found out we do not have money to afford legal help so we stopped trying. How are we able to challenge him without having the financial ability to hire a lawyer?

Asked on April 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have the ability to hire a lawyer; the lawyer can file a petition for an accounting of the trust assets, income, and expenses and demand the trust pay the fees of the beneficiaries, such as yourselves, and may take your case on a contingency fee, meaning a percentage of recovery for you and your sister. Your brother is going to have a lot to accomplish in the way of an accounting so far back. Do you have a copy of the trust to show the lawyer? Was a probate action started in the probate court? If so, look at the court record.


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