- GaryLv 75 年前最愛解答
It is a unfortunately situation, although fairly common.
In answering your question, the trust is not invalid simply because you can't find the lawyer. In fact, many legal documents are still valid even when all parties of the documents have passed away.
Beside - the trust document is not really important in this instance, since you were a minor at the time of your mother's death. A Court will never allow inheritance when you are a minor. So it is presumed some sort of guardianship or trust has been setup and your relative is the key person.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Return to the Probate Registry and try to obtain a copy of all document available.
This will give you an idea what happened at the time of your mother's death and the potential size of the estate.
2. Try to find and contact the lawyer who assisted the probate at that time
Guardianship or trust is a fairly complicated process. There is no way that your relative did this without help.
3. Contact the Law Society of Hong Kong to locate the lawyer(s) or firm(s).
When a lawyer or firm is out of business by any reasons, it does not mean everything can be destroyed. Instead, a custodian of record will be designated to retain records.
The Law Society can't give you any legal advice. However, the Society should be able to provide the detail of a particular firm or lawyer, active or not. Once you have that information, you should be able to locate the lawyer or firm retaining the trust document (a lawyer or firm can't destroy a trust document as a matter of law).
4. Review the trust document (preferably with a lawyer).
See above - it will not be surprise that your relative is granted full authority. The question is the expiration date of the authority.
Also - the trust document will give a better idea of your mother's estate.
5. Retain your lawyer and request an audit.
It is possible that your relative still retains full authority. It does not mean there is nothing can be done. When you are the beneficiary, you are entitled to request an audit of the estate. The easiest way is to retain a lawyer and the lawyer asks your relative "nicely" without a court order. In many instances, the trustee will usually comply given the fact that they can never win (it is not the trustee's money after all).
Many of the above can be done by you as they are not complicated. You can also hire a law firm to do so (but it will cost you).
Sorry to say - regardless, it is a full-scaled warfare. It is going to cost you (perhaps recoverable from your relative) and your family relationship (as you will not only go after your mother's estate, but your relative's asset as well if improperly transferred or profited).
- 5 年前
Thank you so much for all the explanation and advice, and fortunately I finally find my lawyer even though he had already closed down his law firm. I hoped that all situation can be settled as soon as it can...Coz it has already ruined the relationship between me and my guardian.