Fortunately, you do have some control as a beneficiary – in particular, a right to information. A few of your basic rights are the right to:
1. Be informed that the trust exists.
2. Request a copy of the trust document.
3. Demand an accounting of the trustee’s actions, especially if you suspect wrongful acts or failure to adhere to the trust terms.
4. Enforce the trust terms.
5. Receive information about your financial interests in the trust.
There are some exceptions to these rights, such as certain cases where a settlor is still living. However, in most cases, you can depend on them. According to your situation, you may even need to go a step further.
It is not always enough to understand everything that is happening. You have another right, which allows you to take decisive action: you can hire an independent attorney, especially if you suspect wrongdoing or violation of the trust terms.
This means that you do not have to rely on what the trustee or his attorney says. If you request an accounting of the trustee’s actions and get an inadequate response, or no response, call a qualified attorney immediately.
Trust laws are generally complex, but a knowledgeable attorney will guide you through the tangle of information to arrive at an appropriate, and effective, response. You can then take informed legal action, which may mean appointing a new trustee. Other circumstances may arise which call for changing, or even ending, the trust.
Normally, a trust only ends when the trust document says it ends. Sometimes a trust will specify a different condition, such as marriage or college graduation, for the trust to end.
However, beneficiaries can end a trust, although it may be necessary for all of the other beneficiaries to agree.
As a beneficiary, you have many legal rights, but they are only useful to you when you understand and are willing to exercise them. Hiring a qualified, experienced attorney will help you do both.
If you are dealing with a frustrating legal circumstance, you do not have to face it alone. If you are a beneficiary who needs further counseling on your rights and options, contact the Law Office of Richard Nevins. Fill out our form so that we can fully understand your situation before we meet with you, and we will give you our expert advice based on your needs.