Is a trustee required to hire an impartial attorney to represent the Trust?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a trustee required to hire an impartial attorney to represent the Trust?

The trustee in question is represented by the same attorney who wrote up the amended survivors Trust. I want to make sure there is no funny business. I would also like to know if I am a beneficiary, can I request to see the old Trusts even

though the new Trust stipulates that the previous versions are void?

Asked on September 16, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) No, there is no law against or inherent conflict of interest in the lawyer who set up the Trust representing it. In fact, it is common and often advantageous: the lawyer understands the trust well, having created it.
2) If you believe you are or may be a beneficiary and they will not voluntarily show you the trust document, you could bring a lawsuit in chancery seeking accesss to it--but the problem you have is that you have to file the lawsuit *first*, to get access to the documents, etc. and before you know whether you are a beneficiary. If you are not a beneficiary, you will spend time, effort, and money for no reason. If you want to explore that option, consult with your own trusts and estates attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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