Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

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Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

Who Has Right to An Accounting

Who should receive an annual accounting?

When a Trustor creates a Trust, he/she chooses a Successor Trustee(s) to manage their estate when they die. A fundamental prerequisite of the Trust vehicle is to have Trustee accounting to beneficiaries. It gets a bit complicated in terms of which beneficiary will receive an annual accounting, etc.. As a whole, beneficiaries that will receive an inheritance will receive some form of a yearly report.  

So the parties involved are typically a Trustor, Trustee and Beneficiaries and heirs.

With that said,

Probate code 16060 Takeaway: The Trustee has to keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the trust and its administration.

Trustee Accounting to Beneficiaries

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Now, if you are a beneficiary, the Trust document will have to be read to determine who is entitled to an accounting. If the Trustee contacts all beneficiaries at the onset, submit your request to receive the Trust document to ensure you stay compliant and reasonable. However, there are timelines to maintain legal rights in various steps of the Trust administration process.

When you receive an accounting, you will receive six separate types of data based on California probate code section 16063

(1) A statement of receipts and disbursements of principal and income that have occurred during the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(2) A statement of the assets and liabilities of the trust as of the end of the last complete fiscal year of the trust or as of the end of the period covered by the account.

(3) The Trustee’s compensation for the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(4) The agents hired by the Trustee, their relationship to the Trustee, if any, and their compensation, for the last complete fiscal year of the trust or since the last account.

(5) A statement that the recipient of the account may petition the court pursuant to Section 17200 to obtain a court review of the account and of the acts of the Trustee.

(6) A statement that claims against the Trustee for breach of trust may not be made after the expiration of three years from the date the beneficiary receives an account or report disclosing facts giving rise to the claim.

Please note:  If the Trust is revocable, i.e., Trustor is still alive and not capacitated, there is no duty for the Trustor to provide any Trust document whatsoever nor any accounting to beneficiaries. A revocable trust is considered a living trust.

When does a trustee have to give the beneficiaries an accounting of trust money

As discussed, the beneficiaries are entitled to receive current accounting. If the Trustee does not provide up-to-date accounting, the Beneficiaries will need to make a written demand to the Trustee and allow a reasonable time to reply. If, after 60 days, you hear no response, you can file a probate court petition to get a court order requiring the Trustee to report.

 

If you are a beneficiary or Trustee looking for beneficiaries rights to trust information, then read on. Learn about whether the Trustee can do the following:

So, it is essential to know the rights of beneficiaries like the topic, “who has more right a trustee or the beneficiary”, which is subjective.

Let’s start with what rights a beneficiary has.

Beneficiary Rights to See Information

You are entitled as a beneficiary to receive information that the Successor Trustee is managing the Trust properly. You have the right to protect the assets the settlor/grantor has bequeathed to you. A beneficiary should also understand, however, there are timeframes the Trustee must adhere to, to ensure they keep on the right side of the courts. You will want to be up-to-date as to the progress of the Trust Administration process while offering ‘reasonable’ time for the Trustee to distribute the updates that are being asked for.  

1st takeaway: As a beneficiary, you have to understand the Trustee has the power to settle the estate, utilizing attorneys, appraisers, and other expert opinions to assist in resolving the estate to ensure no breach of their fiduciary duty. Within the Trustee duties, are ‘timeframes’ to act that typically range between 12-18 months based on whether properties must be sold, debts, tax implications and so forth.

One other timeframe is the distribution of the Trust document.

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Does a Beneficiary have a right to see the Trust information?

Are Beneficiaries entitled to a copy of the Trust?

The answer is it depends! While the person who created the Trust is alive, the living Trust is what is called, “revocable” and the Trustor has no legal requirement to show you the Trust. The Trustor can eliminate the Trust at any time while they are alive. 

Is a Trust Public record?

No, a Trust is not a public record and this is why most grantors choose a Trust over a Will. 

Now, when the Trustee/Settlor has passed away, the Trust becomes irrevocable straightaway, meaning, it is no longer changeable. If you are a beneficiary of a trust, then it’s at this point you have statutory rights as a beneficiary right. If you are the Trustee, you now have a legal duty to keep the beneficiaries of the Trust informed how the trust assets are being managed.

How do you follow-up on your Beneficiary Rights to Information

First, have knowledge on your side. Should you need counsel, because you feel a lack of transparency from the Trustee, then best to seek a trust litigation attorney. Under California Probate Code Section 16061.7, the Trustee has 60 days after the Settlor/Trustor’s death with a real copy of the Trust documents, including any amendments.  

The best practice is to stay in front of the curve by sending an email or letter to the Trustee that you are aware of the 60 days and would appreciate the True Copy of the Trust documents. Hopefully, this suffices, but if you don’t receive the Trust document, then its time to ratchet it up. Let the Trustee(s) know you may seek counsel, and petition with the courts to receive your copy and that any costs, i.e., attorney fees, etc., will be paid by them.

What Should a Beneficiary Expect from the Trustee at the initial stages?

You will hear the word “reasonably” from time-to-time because there is no fast hard rule as to each part of the Trust Administration process.

So, what are some early expectations you can expect to receive?

It’s the following:

  1. Trustee to get in touch with all the beneficiaries early on.
  2. Educate all beneficiaries of the role
  3. Help determine expectations based on the assets within the Trust
  4. All assets to be counted for and controlled before distribution of the trust assets to any beneficiary.

Transparency is the key to a successful Trust Administration process.  

What other rights does a beneficiary have of a Trust?

  • Right to Communication – You have the right to be kept informed of any changes of the Trust. Proper communication is vital.
  • Right to Accounting – You have the right to an accounting, such as assets the Trust holds, interest earned by the Trust, expenses paid out by the Trust.
  • Right to petition a court to remove a Trustee or terminate a trust – The right to petition to remove a Trustee or invalidate a Trust comes with a set of standards that must be brought up in front of a probate court and an experience trust litigator on your side is prudent.
  • Right to Distribution – Under the terms of the trust agreement, you have a right to receive your Trust asset distributions as a beneficiary or heir.

 

Trustee Removal

Are you a Trustee or Beneficiary where protection of the Trustors wishes are being challenged and causing family disputes?

Develop strategies on preempting a Trust dispute and discover What You Need to Know About the Trustee Removal Process

Hess Verdon has a deep bench and knows both sides of the equation to remove or suspend a Trustee or to safeguard the Trustee from a frivolous legal process. Hess-Verdon top litigators will help you stay on track!

 

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Beneficiary is attacking me

Attacked by a beneficiary who objects to how you, a Trustee, or Administrator, is handling an estate?

Prevent Trustees from Making Some Common Mistakes. 

Duties | Delays | Choices | Distributions

Timing on each one is critical to avoid litigation

Hess-Verdon has over 30 years of dealing with Beneficiary and trustee disputes. Let us review your situation. You’ll be glad you did. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

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Contesting a Trust

 Are You Considering Contesting a Trust or the most recent amendment? Was there a capacity issue or undue influence?

Be Careful when contesting a trust and know the elements it takes to protect the trust assets. Reserve your rights before Statute of limitations happen!

Hess-Verdon works hard to resolve Trust and Estate issues and preserve the estate by minimizing costly litigation. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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Needing Trust Litigation? – What You Should Know!

Hess-Verdon – Best Trust Litigation Attorney

and what to consider when working with Hess-Verdon.

Your Orange County Trust Litigation Attorneys 

 

Contesting a Trust - What You Must Know if Contesting a trust in california!

 Are You Considering Contesting a Trust or the most recent amendment? Was there a capacity issue or undue influence?

Be Careful when contesting a trust and know the elements it takes to protect the trust assets. Reserve your rights before Statute of limitations happen!

Hess-Verdon works hard to resolve Trust and Estate issues and preserve the estate by minimizing costly litigation. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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Choosing the Right Trust Estate Litigation Lawyer is Crucial

Searching for an Orange County Trust Litigation attorney?  Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County, are well versed in estate planning, trust administration, and trust litigation.

Our viewpoint is the following:  Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, our qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures with a view toward the successful resolution of Estateand trust-related matters.

Learn more about our Living Trust Attorneys.

Trust Dispute Lawyers

Trusts are very complex legal instruments.  When disputes arise based on trustee administration disagreements, a trust dispute lawyer can help mitigate possible mediation, arbitration or litigation.

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What Is Trust Litigation?

Trust litigation is where a Beneficiary or Trustee or even an heir of a Trust feel their legal rights are trampled upon and need legal counsel to represent them in court. Typically the trust litigation is between the Trustee vs. the Beneficiary/heir. Many issues can arise, and mostly due to transparency, i.e., the beneficiary feels the Trustee may be self-dealing and not distributing the trust assets in a timely manner. Self-dealing is where the Trustee puts their needs and wants before the Beneficiaries. Now, the Trustee knows they have the fiduciary duty to put everyone above their self-interest first and to comply with the wishes of the Trustor. 

Now, after legal discovery, both parties will be asked to do the following:

  • Mediate
  • Arbitrate
  • Litigate

Trust litigation is by far the most costly and can drain the estate assets. If you are a Trustee and or Beneficiary, best to keep communication open at all times with proper bookkeeping.  

Why Consider hiring Hess-Verdon trust litigation attorneys

We work efficiently to help individuals, families, fiduciaries, organization with the following:

  • Trustees
  • Beneficiaries
  • Individuals and families
  • Banks
  • Trust Companies
  • Charitable entities
  • Family Offices
  • Corporate Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Trustees
  • Business Owners

Here at Hess-Verdon, we counsel clients on various aspects of estate disputes. Such as investigating potential claims, evaluating the merits of bringing a claim, filing or defending a claim, and when necessary litigating a claim through trial or settlement.

With our expert team of trust litigators, in many instances, we can settle such proceedings without going to trial after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by the respective parties and the tax rules applicable.  

Rest assured, the Hess-Verdon team is here to help you. Unlike some other law firms, we are a full-service firm. Handling thousands of probate and trust litigation cases helps us know exactly steps are crucial for your case.

Visit us in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. If you believe you need a team of attorneys, paralegals, and a helpful, caring staff, then read on.

Schedule an appointment today. Our specialized team is ready to assist you.

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My Family is Suing me

Are you being sued by a family member over a Trust or Will?

From threats to harassment to emotional distress, many people’s knee-jerk reaction is to sue and has become increasingly common. 

There are many options to resolve a family dispute in court and out of court. 

With over 30 years, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits and dealing with family dynamics. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

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Trustee Delaying my Inheritance

Past the reasonable “time period,” and Trustee has yet to make the required distributions?

Diagnose the stalling tactics from an uncooperative Trustee and UNCOVER Steps to Take to Get the Trustee to Distribute Your Inheritance.

Hess-Verdon, for over 30 years, has worked on both sides of the coin. Receive counsel on staying on the right side of the courts. Seeing thousands of problems facing Trustees and Beneficiaries has allowed us to assist and complete the wishes of the Trustor/Executor. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

  

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Trustee Deadlines

Up against or even missed a deadline? Know which ones are upcoming?

Shore up your fiduciary responsibilities 

Conflict of Interest | Distribution of Funds | Upcoming deadlines

And put yourself back on track and avoid a trustee removal petition

Time is ticking, and seeking guidance from a Hess-Verdon Attorney is your attorney source to know protect your family’s legacy. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

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Emotions Can Run High in Disputes Between Family Members, Especially in Matters Involving Money.

Need a Second Opinion?

Are you feeling your attorney is not answering your questions? 

Up against a deadline | Going over Budget | Case Taking too Long 

These are just a few reasons why you need a second opinion.

Hess-Verdon has a deep bench experience and works with the courts. If you have questions that your attorney is not answering, or the litigation has taken unexpected twists and turns, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits for over 30 years. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

 

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Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

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