What step to take to get a trust released 2 Answers as of August 15, 2017

My mother passed away before my grandparents. When my grandfather passed away a few years after my grandmother, his final will stated that my aunts were to inherit just about all of everything and my brother and myself would receive $25,000 each that would be placed into a trust for 20 years and interest paid to us annually. It's been 3 years. I haven't received any paperwork nor payment. Section 4.26 of the Trusts and Trustees Act provides that a Trustee may terminate a trust which has a value of less than $100,000.00 if continuing the trust would substantially impair accomplishment of the purpose of the trust. 760 ILCS 5/4.26. The will fails to state or indicate what the purpose of the trust is. Also, this is not a case where my brother or I are under a legal disability. I have requested an accounting of said trust to which my requests have been ignored. The trustee lives in another state. I have asked if she would release the trust to my brother, my aunt and I. The trustee does not want to do that. Never once did she advise us of the probate proceedings. Nor did we sign an entry of appearance waiving notice. She signed all of our paperwork as our "trustee" without our knowledge. I am not fighting her for my mother's share of the million dollar estate! I don't want something that isn't intended to be mine. All I would like is our trusts to be released. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Also as a side note, I work in the circuit clerk’s office in the county I live in. I just know enough to be dangerous so to speak.

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Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
You are entitled to an accounting. You are entitled to the interest/income earned in the trust. Failure to make the required payments would be a breach of the trustee's fiduciary duties. You should bring all of the paperwork you have to an attorney located in the County where your grandfather lived.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/15/2017
Law Office of T. Phillip Boggess | T. Phillip Boggess
Most likely the trust was created to avoid probate and then retain the assets for delayed distribution as per the distribution provisions to you and your brother. Typically, a beneficiary under the trust can request an inventory if one isn't required. If the trust were to be dissolved, it wouldn't not eliminate the specific gift to you and your brother. Basically what would happen is the assets were distributed as described in the trust outright but no longer held in trust. A probate case is a public record. Unless it is a rural county, you can look at what is generally going on in the case online but may have to go to the courthouse or pay for copies of records. But it is my feeling that there is no probate case for your grandfather because he had few assets personally owned. The trust owned all of them to avoid probate. Signing as the trustee of the trust to direct your share isn't a problem provided that she is doing what is in your best interest. Your money could be placed in a better account to gain interest to be distributed to you over the years. Now, I understand you haven't received anything. I also believe you should have received notice of this entire thing. But the signing alone for the portion to go to you isn't a problem in and of itself. You have two ways to approach this. (1) File a lawsuit to have the court compel her to provide an accounting and copy of the trust. She is a fiduciary for all of the beneficiaries which include you to that specific give. I also believe you may be entitled to split your mother's share with your siblings, but reading the trust will be required to know for sure or (2) you can get an attorney to make the request for you in hopes hearing from an attorney will scare her into complying. If you plan to ultimately hire an attorney, I would say go with #2. If you wanted to go on your own, you could try #1 as you at least have a better clue as to the court system than most.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/14/2017
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