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Ask Dave

Lack of Trust

Dave thinks Mike needs to get some information from his father, quickly.

QUESTION: Mike in Michigan says he has a trust that was set up by his grandfather before he died. His father will not give him any information regarding the trust. Dave wonders if his father spent the money, and he tells Mike to demand specific information from his father.

Dave's ANSWER: If your grandfather died in Raleigh, North Carolina, then call the Raleigh courthouse and see if there's a file that has that trust in it. It's probably public record as a part of his estate. If not, there's an attorney’s name in that file that created that trust, and you call that attorney. Usually your estate is set up where you die.

What I would do is confront your dad. Tell him you need a copy of the trust and you need to know where the account is housed. Tell him you're going to get this information from him one way or the other. He needs to furnish that to you. I don't know what all the secrecy is about, unless he spent the money.

Tell him you need him to furnish the documentation on the account and on the trust because your financial counselor needs to see it. He has suggested that you need to physically see it. He needs to ship those to you by email or overnight mail or he needs to tell you where you can get copies of them immediately because you need to get to the bottom of what this trust is and its status and everything.

Tell him you are putting together your financial plan and estate plan and your financial counselor is demanding that you know the details. By the way, Mike, I'm your financial counselor, and I just demanded that you know the details. I’m afraid that you’re not going to find good stuff, but I hope you do.