It is common to feel unsure about your standing in legal processes such as trust administration. Nonetheless, knowing your rights will help you actively participate in enforcing them and ensure you are protected throughout the process.
Right to reasonable information
Before anything else, the trustee must inform you and the other beneficiaries and heirs of the settlor’s death within 60 days of the passing. From then on, you have the right to request information about the trust, such as its assets, management and distribution details. However, note that the trustee is required to provide only information relevant to your interests as a beneficiary.
Right to contest the trust
Upon receiving notice, you have the right to contest the trust within 120 days from notice. Generally, the grounds for challenging a trust are similar to will contests, such as lack of testamentary capacity and the existence of undue influence or fraud.
Right to hold the trustee responsible
Trustees must manage the trust according to the settlor’s wishes and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. If the trustee in your case breached their duties, resulting in losses, you can request the court to remove them from the position and reimburse the damages they caused. Additionally, you could pursue legal action against them if they committed a severe violation, such as embezzlement.
Don’t stay behind the scenes
Dealing with a trust administration can be overwhelming, especially if you have little knowledge on the process. Nevertheless, you must actively participate to ensure the trustee performs their duties efficiently and effectively.
If you are a trust beneficiary who have concerns about the way the trustee is handling the trust, it is crucial to evaluate the situation and find fitting solutions that will protect your rights.