Sibling/trustee refuses to give ‘informal’ accounting after parent’s death. Anyway to make him comply?

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Sibling/trustee refuses to give ‘informal’ accounting after parent’s death. Anyway to make him comply?

Sibling/trustee took parent to see lawyer made trust irrevocable 2 yrs ago, while she was still living. Had medical POA changed to himself refused other siblings access to her medical financial records. Now his attorney says that an accounting will be provided upon final distribution. I sent a certified letter to both sibling/trustee his attorney requesting ‘informal’ accounting, but no response from either. In fact, sibling/trustee refused to even accept delivery of letter.

Asked on July 11, 2019 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

A beneficiary (as we assume you are) can bring an action (i.e. a lawsuit) for "an accounting" against the trustee, to make him "account for" how he is managing the trust: is he following the terms of the trust? is he being loyal to the beneficiary(ies) interest(s)? is he exercising the degree of care that a reasonable person would excessive for his own assets or money? Etc. This action would be brought in county court, typically in the part or division of county court called the "chancery" or "equity" division. It is a much more complex action than, say, the typical small claims case, and you are strongly encouraged to retain an attorney (e.g. a trusts and estates lawyer) to help you.


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