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Want a copy of deceased fathers trust.

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My dad passed away two weeks ago and I have been told I am a beneficiary in his trust. I asked for a copy of the trust from the group handling it and they told me I can only get a copy from the trustee, his wife with whom I do not get a long with. Is this true or should I be allowed to have a copy. I live in Arizona.


Senior Member
My condolences on your loss. I'd suggest that you try to get along with her as it can save a lot of grief and expense.

This is a problem with trusts that many people do not understand. They are NOT public documents, like Wills. The courts can get access to the trusts but it often requires some showing of cause to get to see the document, and sometimes it depends on the terms of the trust.


MAY 18, 2001


If you have been told that you are a beneficiary of the trust, then that is a pretty good indication that they will be contacting you by mail or phone to inform you of what you are eligible to receive. Please allow a few weeks to pass, since they are probably reviewing the trust to see what their responsibilities are, etc., and the trustee is also grieving, etc.

You didn't say what state your father died in, but I assume that it was in Arizona. Normally, in most states, trust documents are private and you as a beneficiary would not have access to it, but there is a federal law called the Uniform Probate Code that specifically allows in certain states (that includes Arizona) that a beneficiary can receive the trust documents (and an accounting for each year that the trust has been in existence) by sending a letter requesting that information to the trustee. Since this trustee might be uncooperative, I would suggest that you have an attorney draft that letter for you since that would carry more weight. But actually, if I were you, I would not request the trust documents unless you feel it is absolutely necessary.

You can assume that you will be receiving what you are entitled to under the trust, but wait until after you have received your share of money and/or property before you request the trust documents, and then only do it if you feel that you may have been cheated or the trust has been mismanaged (which is very unlikely).


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