How do I take control of the situation if I think I inherited something and my family is hiding it from me? 12 Answers as of April 25, 2014

I am under 18 years of age, male. I think I inherited a trust and possibly an estate from my grandfather and I think my family is hiding it from me and somehow getting gifts from me. I need to know how to take control and stop this.

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Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
See a probate lawyer. Look in the yellow pages or call your LOCAL bar association.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2014
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
After your grandfather died any Will he had should have been filed with the clerk of the court in his county of residence. You could find out if a Will was actually filed and if a probate was opened. If there was a Will it would probably refer to a trust if any exists. It is possible, but not likely, that your grandfather would have a trust but not a Will. If your grandfather owned real property at the time of his death, you could check the public record to find out to whom or what the property was transferred. It may be that his residence or other property was transferred into his trust. Since you are 18 you are of majority age and thus have the capacity to act independently of your parents to assert and protect your rights. If you can confirm that a trust exists you out to be able to assert the right to see the declaration of trust. If you can establish that you are the beneficiary of a trust you can require an accounting of the trust.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/24/2014
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Your legal guardian can request information on your behalf. Other than that you may need to wait until you are 18.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/25/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Obtain the services of a probate litigation attorney to represent you, to bring the appropriate legal action to take control of the estate you believe you are entitled to.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
You need to contact an attorney and have the attorney, pro bono (free), write a letter to your father for you asking for a copy of the trust. You cannot contract with an attorney until you are 18, but perhaps a guardian of your estate could be appointed and get your inheritance if the trust in fact names you as a beneficiary.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    There is very little you can do, as a minor. If you think that something inappropriate is taking place, you should review all of the facts with a lawyer. There is some investigating you can do on your own, but more information would be needed to determine what that is, in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/24/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You need to go to a local probate attorney who can look into the situation.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/24/2014
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If your grandfather's estate was probated there should be a public file available for review at the court administrator's office. A review of that file would tell you whether you did in fact receive an inheritance. Given your age, someone, possibly a parent, would have been appointed as custodian of your estate until you reach majority. If the estate of your grandfather directed that a Trust be established for your benefit, the court record would tell you who is appointed as Trustee. Your legal representative is entitled to review the Trust terms. If your grandfather set up a Trust during his lifetime, your legal representative is entitled to a copy of that Trust document.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/24/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    As you are still a minor, you cannot "take control': you will need someone to represent you. If a trust was established for you, the trustee has an obligation to make sure the trust assets are not lost or distributed improperly. The trustee also needs to make annual reports of the status of the trust. Contact that person and ask for a copy of the trust and an update on the value of the assets. It is possible that the trust legitimately allows for distributions of funds to your parents to pay for your living expenses, health care, education, etc. It is also possible that the trust is set up so that you can't have access to the funds until you are an adult.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/24/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Because you have not reached the age of majority (officially an adult), unless you are an emancipated person, there is very little you can do, because your parents can always claim to be acting in your best interest.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/24/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Look up your grandfather's estate at the probate court in the county where he lived. This should list all his assets at death and how they were distributed. A trust is controlled by the trustee, but trustees are not generally allowed to make gifts of other peoples money. If you inherited property not in trust, the probate court will hold it until you turn 18. It's unlikely that the probate court will allow your family members to invade your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/24/2014
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