US probate and trust disputes. How to protect yourself


A trustee or executor in the US has told you that you are a beneficiary of a decedent’s trust, will or estate. But you live outside the US.  What do you do?  How do you make sure you get what you are entitled to?  Will the trustee or executor in the US treat you fairly, or will those in the US try to steal your inheritance?

If you are a non-US beneficiary of US estate or trust, you probably have questions.  What are my rights?  Can I get a copy of the will or trust, and the list of assets? How long before I receive my inheritance? Silver & Co. is a US law firm that specializes in one and only one area: representing the rights of people outside the United States with regard to their rights in the US.

A few basis definitions regarding US probate, wills and trusts

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person the decedent named in their will or trust to receive certain assets following their death.

What is an Heir?

An heir is a family member of the decedent who is legally entitled to all or a portion of a decedent’s estate after their death if the decedent did not have a valid will in place when they died. When a decedent dies without a will, their assets are distributed in accordance with the laws of the state where the resided when he/she died.  These laws generally state that property of a person who died without a will pass to that person’s family as follows:  the first to decedent’s surviving spouse, then their children, then their parents, then their brothers/sisters and so on.

Do not handle your case by yourself

If the decedent died leaving you something in a will or trust, our experience clearly shows that it is a bad idea to rely on the US person in charge of administering the estate or trust.  This is because you are far away from the action, unaware of the processes, and vulnerable to be taken advance of.  You need someone who represents you interests and who makes sure you get what you deserve.

It is not as easy as it seems to be a beneficiary located outside the US when the legal proceeding is inside the US. To ensure you receive what you deserve, you will have to understand your rights, because if you don’t, you will not know if others are stealing your rights.  This is especially so if you live outside the United States.

If a decedent named you as a beneficiary, leaving administration of the will or trust to people in the US is not a smart move. You need to hire someone who will protect you and your rights. 

Rights of Beneficiaries

As a beneficiary or a trust or will, you have rights. Your rights include the rights to:

  • Get a copy of the will or trust instrument
  • Get information about the estate or trust assets
  • Get information about how the estate or trust will be administrated
  • Get an accounting from executors or trustees
  • Ask the court to remove an executor or trustee
  • Be treated fairly by the executor or trustee
  • Receive what you deserve on a timely basis and according to the terms of the will/trust
  • To right your own lawyer

We defend your rights

The law firm of Silver & Co., founded by Monte Silver, specializes in representing non-US beneficiaries in US probate and trust cases.  We make sure your rights are protected. 

Silver & Co.  – protecting your rights in US probate and trust disputes

Knowing your rights as a beneficiary is the only way to make sure you Get that to which you are entitled under the estate or trust.  To make sure that happens, you must play an active role in the administration by doing things like reviewing the accountings provided by the executor or trustee and demanding that they provide them if they haven’t already.  This is extremely hard to do if you live outside the US, as you do not know how the US system works, and do not know who can help you protect your rights.

If you need someone to explain what your rights are, or think that your rights have been violated by the executor or trustee, by the will or trust instrument itself, or by another beneficiary, it is important as soon as possible to learn how you can protect and secure your rightful inheritance.

If you have such a case, feel free to contact us to for a free consultation.  All conversations are confidential.


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