What Happens When Estate Plan Documents Cannot Be Found?
It is not uncommon for an individual to have a will or trust as part of his or her estate plan. In fact, a person could have both a will and a trust to make it easier to distribute assets or minimize estate taxes owed. However, it may be harder to abide by the terms of an estate plan if will or trust documents are lost or destroyed.
What Happens If a Trust Document Isn’t Located?
If a trust document cannot be located, it may be necessary to resolve the matter in court. Anyone who has seen the terms of the trust will likely be given an opportunity to provide testimony to the court as to what they are.
The trustee will also likely have to testify or provide other evidence that establishes what the trust was supposed to do and who it was supposed to benefit.
Was the Trust Document Properly Funded?
If a trust isn’t properly funded, it typically doesn’t matter whether or not it can be found or not. This is because the document is null and void upon the death of its creator.
Of course, there could be an exception if an individual included a pour-over will as part of an estate plan. The pour-over will would allow assets to be transferred from a deceased person’s estate into a trust. In such a scenario, the will would have to be probated, which means that a court hearing would have to take place even if the whereabouts of the trust were known.
Legal Assistance Could Be Available
An estate planning attorney in Las Vegas could be able to help a person determine what was in a trust or other plan document. This may be done by interviewing beneficiaries or examining bank or other records that could provide clues as to a trust’s structure. Here are some reasons why people avoid writing their will.