Where do I find out if I’m listed in a Trust?

Dear Ms. Allison: I am told i have a Trust established in my name but cant find it. Anonymous in Oklahoma

Dear Anonymous:

I wonder where you are looking — and why? It is odd that you are looking into this, unless someone has died and you believe you are not receiving what was left to you. There is, no doubt, much more to your story.

Whoever told you about the Trust may know where the documents are kept. Most people who have created a Trust keep a copy of it with their important papers at home or in their offices and keep the original in a safe deposit box.

One main point of putting things in a Trust is privacy. So, looking for a public record that a Trust was written is sort of a waste of your time. If someone has added you as a beneficiary of his or her Trust, there’s a big possibility that he or she didn’t want you to know right now. You could be spoiling a very lovely surprise. Unless specifically instructed to notify you before the grantor (the person whose Trust it is) dies, a Trustee may not have to tell. Still, as mentioned, you can ask the person who told you about the Trust.

If you believe that the Trust may hold real estate, particularly if you know of the real estate that may be in the Trust, you can check that specific property at the county deeds office. When you put real estate in a Trust, the deed is recorded with either the Trust itself, or, more often, a Memorandum of Trust. A Memorandum of Trust is used to prove a Trust’s existence and gives information about the Trust including its name and the name of the Trustee.

To your success, Gale Allison

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