My brother is threatening us because he wants to get mom's half of dad's living trust, what can we do? 6 Answers as of January 22, 2015

There is a living trust by my parents, my father died last January 27th and my brother is mad that he had to split dad's savings with my mom. The brother is making awful threats if she doesn't give her half to him, one is that he is going to sue for dad's things. He and his wife are scary and we want them to stop threatening us all. There are six of us kids by my parents.

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LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In the common family trust scheme your mother would have received at least half (often much more) of the trust assets and 100% of the trust income at the time your father died, and no one else receives a dime until after she dies. See if that's what the trust says, then hire an attorney to sue your brother for the savings money he wrongfully took. His actions may also have triggered a no-contest clause in the trust, meaning he will never receive anything, and maybe his kids are cut off, too.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/22/2015
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
If you are the same person whose other post I just responded to, the question is whether the bro is successor trustee. Administration of a trust usually requires the aid of a lawyer. If the successor trustee does not have a lawyer, he or she should retain one to assist with administration. Be guided by the lawyer's advice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/14/2015
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
I suggest your mother get a restraining order. She should really speak with an attorney directly.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/14/2015
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
See a lawyer. Consider getting a restraining order against them. Make sure your mother's estate planning documents are appropriate, including advance health care directive and power of attorney. Consider replacing her as trustee if she is not completely competent, or having her add you or someone else) as a co-trustee.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/14/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
You do not tell us what the trust states. I presume that at least half of the assets are left to your mother; if you live in a community property state, such as California, half of the savings may have in fact been your mother's assets so should not be part of the trust. You should look at some books on living trusts, such as those from Nolo Press that are written in non-legal language, to understate what is involved. From what you say, he has no right to what he is demanding and your mother has to take a firm stance and tell him he has no right [does he have any legal right to the half he took?] and she will hang up on him if he brings up the subject again. She should tell him that if he feels he has any right to what she has then he should go to an attorney to find out what his rights are. Unfortunately, greed upon the death of a parent often results in such family splits. You are not going to change his self-centered attitude, so adopt a tough love position because otherwise he will keep pressuring you until he gets what he wants. He is showing his true colors so accept the reality that you will probably need to severe your relationship with him. You mother should be very careful as to preparing her estate plans so as to try to reduce what his demands will be on her death. She can give him zero. If you are not entirely sure of what the legal situation is, go to some local probate attorneys to find out what the applicable law is [bring alone a copy of the Trust documents]; normally they will give you a free 15-20 minute discussion.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/14/2015
    WFB Legal Consulting, Inc.
    WFB Legal Consulting, Inc. | William F. Bernard
    Simply, your brother would have to file a court action challenging the trust provisions and presumably pay for a lawyer to undertake the lawsuit. He would also have to have tenable grounds to dispute the trust's provisions. Until then, his threats are empty ones.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2015
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