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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I have an attorney investigate whether or not I am named in my grandparents trust?My grandmother died in May, 2014. After she passed, I received a letter from my mother stating that I would be receiving a check for my inheritance. A few weeks later she sent me another letter stating that it would be deposited in an already established account for me. That never happened so i went with her to the bank where the above account was held to withdraw the money. The account held only $4,000.00 and she told me that I was only entitled to half of it-yet she decided to give me the entire amount. I have a statement dated 12-3-12 showing a balance of $7,110.26. My grandparents were extremely wealthy-their Rossmoor condo (3352 Terra Granada Dr APT 1B, Walnut Creek, CA 94595) just sold for $750k. She told me that there was no will and that I am not mentioned in the trust.

Stewart’s answer: Send a letter to your mother asking for a complete copy of the Trust. Mention in the letter that California Probate Code section 16061.7 requires that all family heirs and beneficiaries of the Trust have a right to receive a full copy of the now irrevocable Trust 60 days after your grandmother died. There may, or may not, be a Last Will. If there is, it is likely a pour-over Will that gives everything to the Trust. Thus, it’s important to get a full copy of the Trust to see if you are mentioned as a beneficiary. Good luck.