How Can I Find Out Truth About My Sister’s Estate Plan?

 In Revocable Trusts, Wills
privacy of estate plan

Confidentiality of estate plan


My sister wrote a will leaving everything to her manipulative boyfriend. She has a daughter and grandson. She says she made a trust for her daughter but I think she’s lying. She couldn’t look me in the face and looked really guilty. My niece is an only child and thinks she will get everything. She’s going to be devastated if her mother doesn’t leave her anything. Can I find out if a trust actually exists?


That sounds like a difficult situation. Unfortunately, no one has the right to see anyone else’s estate planning documents. They are private and confidential. The only exception is if your sister were found to be legally incompetent and you or your niece were named her guardian or conservator. Then in that capacity you would have the right to see her will and trust.

Your niece may have other remedies after her mother’s death. At that point she could challenge her mother’s will and trust as having been written under undue influence, but that’s a hard standard to prove. She would have to establish that her mother was susceptible to undue influence and that it in fact occurred. And the burden of proof would be on her since the presumption is that estate planning documents are valid.

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