Does my sister, as Trustee,have any obligation to keep my2 other sisters and Iinformed of Trust expenses?

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Does my sister, as Trustee,have any obligation to keep my2 other sisters and Iinformed of Trust expenses?

My mother died in 11/0. My sister was appointed agent and trustee for the family Trust. My father has Alzheimer’s and was admitted to the VA hospital by my sister 3 weeks after my mother’s death. She has had total control of my father’s income and all assets, including 2 vehicles and a house that sits vacant. I requested an accounting of the monthly finances for the past 2 years from my sister who told me that I should get the information from the family Trust attorney. I contacted him in 11/10, and he has provided me with what my sister has submitted. This amounts to having waited 5 months to only receive a spread sheet showing payments for 1 month. The entries seamed totally out of line. For example, the cable payment for 1 month $295, gardening $390, telephone $198 – all for a vacant property. My request from the Trust attorney was for copies of bank statements, bills, invoices, and any other information that would help support these payments to date have received nothing that i requested. I have been patient for the last 5 months waiting to make some sense of what’s going on. It appears that my sister is not going to willing provide the information requested. What are my rights? What would be the best way to legally proceed? Should we contact a trust and estates attorney? In Solano County, CA.

Asked on April 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation and for your loss.  Yes, I think that it may be time to speak with an attorney on this matter.  Understand that it will cost you out of your own pocket for this.  The estate or the trust will not reimburse you.  But you do have a right to an accounting and to make sure that as a beneficiary of the trust - which I am assuming that you are - that everything is on the up and up and that your sister is administering to the trust assets as required under the law.  If she is not then you may have the right to go have her removed as the trustee.  This can become costly so starting out by trying to work together may be the best thing.  Good luck to you.


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