How to Prove I Am an Heir to a Living Trust

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An heir or beneficiary of a living trust is a person who benefits from trust property, such as heirlooms, family assets, financial accounts and real estate. The person who creates a trust must name her heirs in a trust document. If questions arise regarding the true identity of an heir named in a trust document, the parties in question can resolve the dispute privately or pursue the matter in court.

  • Contact the successor trustee working on behalf of the trust. As a trust beneficiary, you are entitled to a copy of the trust document and a full accounting for the trustee's actions.

  • Request a copy of the original trust document including all amendments, restatements and supplementary instructions. Amendment and restatement forms must arrive attached directly to the original trust document. Supplementary instruction, however, can arrive in a trust portfolio.

  • Provide proof of identification, such as a state-issued identification card or driver's license and Social Security card.

  • Visit the probate court where the trust is recorded. A successor trustee must record an original trust deed in probate court after a trust grantor's death. If a successor trustee is denying you access to a trust document, petition the court for a hearing.

  • Request that the court issue a copy of the original trust document. Ask the court to defer the successor trustee's authority over the trust if you suspect fraud or negligence due to incompetence.

  • Notify the successor trustee and other trust beneficiaries of the hearing date.

  • Provide proof of identification at the hearing. If necessary, argue your claims of fraud or incompetence. Ask the judge to instruct the successor trustee to provide you and all other beneficiaries with trust documents going forward.

Tips & Warnings

  • An amendment form is used to make small changes to a trust document.
  • A restatement form is used to make significant changes to a trust document.
  • A supplemental instruction form is used to offer new instructions to a successor trustee.

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