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Beneficiaries Rights To Trust Information

 

Beneficiary Rights To Information 

The State of California has very clear-cut laws regarding the beneficiary’s rights to trust information regarding the inheriting assets. Communication is key between Trustee and beneficiary throughout the trust process. 

Probate Topics, Probate Litigation 

Tips A BENEFICIARY SHOULD KNOW TODAY!

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Beneficiary Rights To Information 

The State of California has very clear-cut laws regarding the beneficiary’s rights to trust information regarding the inheriting assets. Communication is key between Trustee and beneficiary throughout the trust process. You have the right to full transparency when you are notified that you are inheriting something until you receive your inheritance. The courts monitor this process, and there are some strict timelines in place for various steps during the process of trust administration. 

What Is A Beneficiary Entitled To?

You probably have some questions regarding what a beneficiary is entitled to receive. Following are the fundamental rights you have to information regarding the Trust.

  1. You have the right to receive a copy of the Trust that includes and amendments and written instructions.
  2. You have the right to contest the Trust and any of the provisions of the Trust.
  3. You have the right to be kept informed throughout the trust administration process.
  4. You have a right to receive an accounting of the Trust’s contents to make sure you will get your fair share.
  5. You have a right to object to the accounting report if you feel it does not meet the terms of the Trust.
  6. You have the right to compel a trustee to pay you your inheritance.
  7. You have the right to be treated with fair and impartial treatment by the Trustee.
  8. If you disagree with how the Trustee is handling his or her duties, you have the right to ask a judge to suspend the Trustee’s rights.
  9. If you believe that there is a misappropriation of funds by the Trustee, you have the right to seek legal remedy through the courts.
  10. You have the right to receive your inheritance in a timely manner.

Many beneficiaries will seek the advice of an attorney early in the trust administration process. If you have any doubts about the handling of a Trust, please call an attorney to ensure that all your rights are protected.

Trustee vs. Beneficiary Rights 

The Trustee is designated by the decedent and has numerous duties in administering a trust. The responsibilities of the Trustee vs. beneficiary rights are as follows:

  • The Trustee must notify all beneficiaries of their upcoming inheritance. 
  • The beneficiary must be given a copy of the final Trust, its amendments, and any written instructions within 60 days.
  • The executor takes control of any liquid assets and manages them by securing the assets, transferring funds to an interest-earning account. The money will remain there throughout probate. You have the right to be kept informed of these actions.
  • Any risky assets such as stocks and bonds will be cashed in and kept in the secured account as well.
  • The Trustee will ensure and secure any real property. They will then have the property appraised and sell it.
  • The Trustee is required to notify all creditors so that claims against the estate can be paid. The distribution cannot take place until all final bills are paid.
  • The Trustee is required to prepare an accounting report for the courts. Beneficiaries will receive a copy of this report.
  • Once the report is approved, the Trustee will distribute all funds and close the estate. Closing the estate must all be done in a timely manner. At certain stages throughout the administration process, the courts might set time limits that the Trustee must meet.
  • The Trustee has the right to be compensated for these duties. All compensation is included in the accounting report.
  • Finally, the Trustee is responsible for distributing the funds per the wishes of the decedent. They will then close the estate.

When To Seek Help From An Attorney

Probate can take up to a year or more, depending on the size of the estate. Smaller estates within a specific dollar amount and without real property can be settled without probate. Whether probate is involved or not, you should receive clear and regular communication from the Trustee throughout the process. There are certain situations where you might need to seek help from an attorney, such as:

  • If at any time you suspect that the executor is suspiciously spending estate money, you should consult an attorney. This action on the Trustee is called misappropriation of funds and needs to be reported to the courts.
  • If you are not provided with regular updates or a copy of the accounting report, you can request that the executor be removed.
  • If you believe you are mistreated against the decedent’s wishes, the activity should be reported to the court.
  • If you wish to protest any part of the Trust or its amendments, you need to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. 

A trust attorney can guide you through learning what a beneficiary is entitled to throughout the probate process. This will ensure that your beneficiary rights to trust information are honored throughout the process.

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