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#185721 - 07/02/09 09:59 PM Wills are Public, Trusts are Private
Princess Lenora Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
If wills are public, then where does one go to view a will? If the will was never recorded in the county clerk's recorder's office, and no one forks over a will, then what? If a trust is private, and the person left to administer the trust is not forthcoming, then what? If someone says that he knows there is a will, but does not know where it is, then are the beneficiaries just kept in the dark? I guess this is a question I can go to our NABBW expert, but I'm throwing it out here first.

#185748 - 07/03/09 06:02 AM Re: Wills are Public, Trusts are Private [Re: Princess Lenora]
Lola Offline

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 3703
Loc: London UK
Wills are not public documents unless it serves a public interest. When Executors apply to the Court for a Grant of Probate, Court circulars would mention the Will and, it is through the circular that one would come to know that a Will exists. If the testamentary dispositions create a Trust within a Will then it rests upon the Executors to locate and inform the Trustees. If the Trustees cannot be located, then a Deed of Variation to the Will can be applied for in Court by the Executors. Unless, of course, the Executors are also the Trustees.

If someone knows a Will exists but, even with best effort, could not locate it, a Letter of Administration in Probate could be applied for (subject to other legal rules) as though there was no Will and the Court would likely treat the deceased as to have died intestate.

As I do not have the specifics, this is just rough overview of the general rule on Wills and Probate which apply to your queries, Lynn. Hope it helps.

#185861 - 07/04/09 05:13 PM Re: Wills are Public, Trusts are Private [Re: Lola]
Princess Lenora Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Lola, I am so grateful you weighed in on this. I do have a situation regarding my grandmother, who died at 102 in March. I cannot afford an estate attorney. And I don't know if I am holding in my hands a can of worms, or even, Pandora's box. Plus, can a will have outdated language? Or a trust document? Would you be willing to do a bit of PM on this with me? If so, I'll have the papers in my hand to ask you a general question or two, so as not to impose on you.
Family secrets suck.

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