Can a Trustee ignore trust distributions?

The Trustee of my deceased sister will not let me see the living trust she set up even though my sister said she left items to me (furniture and jewelery from our mother). He had indicated that I will not be getting any of those items even if it's stated in the trust. Can he do this?

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Feb 14, 2012
Living Trust Privacy Not Absolute
by: Mo Johnson

You ask an interesting question which gets at why laws usually leave courts with some wiggle room.

Certainly, if the trust requires the trustee to give you something then he or she legally has to do that. However, without seeing the trust, it is impossible to know for sure what options it might give the trustee.

That's why lawyers most common response to a question is "it depends." While living trusts generally are private, they are not always. It is possible to challenge a trust in court and in that case have it become, potentially, a matter of public record.

However, the laws on this vary from state to state and you should talk to an experienced living trust or estate planning attorney in your area.

You can read more about the privacy of a living trust.

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