My husband's mother just passed away, she had a living trust with his sister named as trustee and him and her as beneficiaries. She is not wanting to disclose all assets i.e. bank account balances, life insurance policy. Is there anything he can do to get bank account balances and to make sure everything is disbursed evenly? Any info will be great!
It sounds like your husband has a copy of the trust and is certain that he is a beneficiary with his sister. He can thus take the trust document to a local estate attorney and have it reviewed. If his share under the trust were a fixed dollar sum, $50,000, for example, the sister may not have to disclose everything to him. She could, as trustee, simply pay him his $50,000. However, if the trust provides that your husband and his sister share the estate equally, and the sister is the fiduciary, your husband should generally be entitled to full disclosure of all the assets, expenses, income and other items realized by the trust. This is essential (as is obvious to you from your question) for your husband to make certain that he receives the appropriate share of the estate. His sister, as a trustee, has a "fiduciary" duty to handle the estate properly. Serving in a fiduciary capacity, a position of trust, is a significant responsibility which she should not take lightly. If she violates that fiduciary duty your husband would have a cause of action against her. Further, before most trusts or estates are terminated the fiduciary asks for, and receives, a release by the beneficiaries. As part of this release process, the beneficiaries are given a formal or informal record of all estate or trust activities (called an accounting).
All the above being said, the terms of the trust, and state law, are essential to understanding what your husband's rights are. Hire a local attorney who specializes in estate and probate matters. Have the trust reviewed. A strong letter from that attorney to your husband's sister, informing her of her obligations under the trust agreement and state law, may just convince her that communication and disclosure is the way to go. Don't delay as there could be significant time restrictions on actions your husband can take.
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