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  1. #1
    my4kids is offline Junior Member
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    How do we get a copy of a trust/will?

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? California

    My husband's aunt recently passed away. His aunt never had children and my husband was like a son to her. Auntie has always stated that my husband will get a big chunk of her estate. We've never lived our life waiting for her to die, that's for sure, but there are some things we're not sure about.

    Auntie had a revocable living trust and will, supposedly naming my mother in law as the executor/trustee. Okay, that's all fine and dandy. When my husband approached his mother about what was stated specifically as it relates to my husband, she said that was none of our business and she'll take care of her duties as Auntie has requested. We're very skeptical of this...

    Bottom line...if my husband's name is mentioned in a will or a trust, shouldn't he be entitled to a copy of that document? If so, how do we get it and if not, how do we know that his mom is acting in a manner which is keeping with the trust and will specifications?

    Thanks so much!
  2. #2
    Keepin' Busy! is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by my4kids
    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? California

    My husband's aunt recently passed away. His aunt never had children and my husband was like a son to her. Auntie has always stated that my husband will get a big chunk of her estate. We've never lived our life waiting for her to die, that's for sure, but there are some things we're not sure about.

    Auntie had a revocable living trust and will, supposedly naming my mother in law as the executor/trustee. Okay, that's all fine and dandy. When my husband approached his mother about what was stated specifically as it relates to my husband, she said that was none of our business and she'll take care of her duties as Auntie has requested. We're very skeptical of this...

    Bottom line...if my husband's name is mentioned in a will or a trust, shouldn't he be entitled to a copy of that document? If so, how do we get it and if not, how do we know that his mom is acting in a manner which is keeping with the trust and will specifications?

    Thanks so much!

    You can get copies of these documents from the courthouse, filed in the Probate court in the county where Auntie died.
  3. #3
    my4kids is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepin' Busy!
    You can get copies of these documents from the courthouse, filed in the Probate court in the county where Auntie died.

    Auntie just died the middle of October. Supposedly, mother in law still hasn't seen her attorney to review what needs to happen, etc. With a revocable living trust and a will, does it still go through probate? And if so, does both the revocable living trust and the will become public record?
  4. #4
    Keepin' Busy! is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by my4kids
    Auntie just died the middle of October. Supposedly, mother in law still hasn't seen her attorney to review what needs to happen, etc. With a revocable living trust and a will, does it still go through probate? And if so, does both the revocable living trust and the will become public record?

    You won't be able to obtain copies until such time as a Petition for Probate is filed with the Will and Trust annexed. Once filed with the court, then it becomes public record, and obtainable. At some point, a Petition will have to be filed. Unfortunately, there's no time limit to file.
  5. #5
    my4kids is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepin' Busy!
    You won't be able to obtain copies until such time as a Petition for Probate is filed with the Will and Trust annexed. Once filed with the court, then it becomes public record, and obtainable. At some point, a Petition will have to be filed. Unfortunately, there's no time limit to file.

    WOW, you're quick. Couple of questions...

    1) How is it determined whether a petition for probate needs to be filed? Is it based on the value of the estate?

    2) Since there was a revocable living trust, I read somewhere (don't remember) that it does not become part of public record. Is that true? Maybe before death it's not public but what about after?

    3) In layman terms, what does "will and trust annexed" mean? And if it's some sort of authentic endorsement, do all wills and trusts have to go through this?
  6. #6
    Keepin' Busy! is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE=my4kids]WOW, you're quick. Couple of questions...

    1) How is it determined whether a petition for probate needs to be filed? Is it based on the value of the estate?

    It's based upon the "type" of assets; e.g., real estate, vehicles, etc. In other words, items that need to have a title change into someone, or something else's, name.



    2) Since there was a revocable living trust, I read somewhere (don't remember) that it does not become part of public record. Is that true? Maybe before death it's not public but what about after?

    It all becomes part of the public record when these items are filed with a Petition - - which is usually after death.




    3) In layman terms, what does "will and trust annexed" mean?

    It simply means "Will and Trust" stapled to the Petition for Probate.




    And if it's some sort of authentic endorsement, do all wills and trusts have to go through this?

    Not all. It really depends upon how the Trust was worded, and whether the personal property or real estate was already in the name of the Trust. But, if something needs a title change, then it's off to Probate court.
  7. #7
    my4kids is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE=Keepin' Busy!]
    Quote Originally Posted by my4kids
    WOW, you're quick. Couple of questions...

    1) How is it determined whether a petition for probate needs to be filed? Is it based on the value of the estate?

    It's based upon the "type" of assets; e.g., real estate, vehicles, etc. In other words, items that need to have a title change into someone, or something else's, name.



    2) Since there was a revocable living trust, I read somewhere (don't remember) that it does not become part of public record. Is that true? Maybe before death it's not public but what about after?

    It all becomes part of the public record when these items are filed with a Petition - - which is usually after death.




    3) In layman terms, what does "will and trust annexed" mean?

    It simply means "Will and Trust" stapled to the Petition for Probate.




    And if it's some sort of authentic endorsement, do all wills and trusts have to go through this?

    Not all. It really depends upon how the Trust was worded, and whether the personal property or real estate was already in the name of the Trust. But, if something needs a title change, then it's off to Probate court.

    Thanks TONS keepin'! So, since this was a revocable living trust with my mother in law named as the trustee and since the house is vested in the trust, then it will have to go through probate since the vesting will have to change to whomever gets the house??? Am I understanding that correctly?

    My father in law was under the impression that if Auntie's estate is valued at less than 1.5M, that it does not have to go through probate??? That doesn't make sense...But is that true???
  8. #8
    Keepin' Busy! is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE=my4kids]Thanks TONS keepin'! So, since this was a revocable living trust with my mother in law named as the trustee and since the house is vested in the trust, then it will have to go through probate since the vesting will have to change to whomever gets the house??? Am I understanding that correctly?

    Not quite. If the house was ALREADY titled in the name of the Trust, then at least that item will not need to go through Probate. If, however, the house, or some other property that needs to be titled, WAS NOT in the name of the Trust, then the house, or whatever other property, will need to be dealt with in Probate.



    My father in law was under the impression that if Auntie's estate is valued at less than 1.5M, that it does not have to go through probate??? That doesn't make sense...But is that true???

    You're right. That makes no sense. The "value" of property has nothing to do with whether a Probate action is opened. The only thing that matters is whether the executor or administrator of the Estate wants to keep their nose clean; i.e., stay out of legal trouble, by receiving court orders to disburse the assets properly. That way, no one can come back and say that something was wrong with the disbursements. Also, your father-in-law is confusing "Estate Taxes" with the necessity of Probate. A Probate, theoretically, could be opened for $1.00.

    Also, a Probate action wouldn't have to be filed if EVERYTHING was already owned by the Trust, prior to Auntie's death. That includes all of her personal items; e.g., diamonds, rocking chair, television, etc. In other words, on paper, Auntie could have been a "Pauper" (a poor person) if the Trust already owned everything.
    Last edited by Keepin' Busy!; 11-27-2005 at 11:24 PM.
  9. #9
    my4kids is offline Junior Member
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    Given I am a methodical thinker, this is what I am understanding:

    1) Auntie's house is vested in the trust so her house does not need to go through probate.

    2) My husband is on some of Auntie's bank accounts but with statements going to Auntie's house. We don't believe that they were in the trust however, if they weren't, will those go to probate or default to my husband? Or be disbursed according to the will? or a combination there-of?

    3) Any item that is listed in the trust and is "owned" by the trust avoids probate?

    4) Even if all items are free from "probate" will there still need to be a petition filed where the will and trust will become public record?
  10. #10
    Keepin' Busy! is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE=my4kids]Given I am a methodical thinker, this is what I am understanding:

    1) Auntie's house is vested in the trust so her house does not need to go through probate.

    True statement




    2) My husband is on some of Auntie's bank accounts but with statements going to Auntie's house. We don't believe that they were in the trust however, if they weren't, will those go to probate or default to my husband? Or be disbursed according to the will? or a combination there-of?

    That all depends upon how the ownership to the accounts was held. Was it Auntie's name AND husband's name, or was it Auntie's name OR husband's name, or was it Auntie's name AND husband's name with Right of Survivorship in husband's name?




    3) Any item that is listed in the trust and is "owned" by the trust avoids probate?

    Again, that's a true statement.




    4) Even if all items are free from "probate" will there still need to be a petition filed where the will and trust will become public record?

    No, there will be no Probate if that is the case. But, that's not the case, is it? At least as far as the bank accounts are concerned. Also, the reality of the matter is that your Auntie had a Will. That's because she did own certain items, and the Trust can't own everything. Hell, what about Auntie's hair dryer? What about her sofa? What about the car that was in her name? And the list just keeps on going . . .

    You may want to spend a few hundred dollars for a face-to-face consultation with a Probate attorney for more clarifications and for your additional questions.

    Good luck.
  11. #11
    Keepin' Busy! is offline Junior Member
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    One additional item. Since your husband has an interest in the Estate; i.e., because of the bank accounts, he can file his own Petition for Probate of the Estate without the Will. Did you know that? That's because he has an interest in the Estate and anyone with an interest can file their own Petition. By doing that, it would "force the hand" of the proposed Executor to file her own Petition with the Will annexed. Then, you'd be able to get a copy even quicker!
  12. #12
    my4kids is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks a BUNCH! One last question...The bottom line is that my husband wants a copy of the trust and will. My mother in law has no intentions of giving him a copy or making him aware of what is stated unless she absolutley has to.

    Yes, Auntie had a will so without a doubt, that will be made public, correct? By default, does the trust have to be annexed along with the will since the will probably references the trust or can the trust be omitted from the will filing or do they go hand in hand?

    I hope I made sense!

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