Knowing Your Rights as a Long Island Trust Beneficiary
While the majority of trusts on Long Island are handled without any issues between the beneficiary and the trustee, there are times where tensions may arise. A big source of tension can be caused by a lack of information being exchanged between the trustee and the beneficiary, especially when beneficiaries feel that they do not have the necessary information to determine their rights under the trust or how it is performing. While there are many different types of rights that a trust beneficiary has under the law, those laws dealing with what information must be turned over are relatively clear. Whenever you are in a dispute involving a trust, contacting a Long Island trust and estate lawyer is the best option.
In most situations, a Long Island trustee must turn over any documents related to the trust at the request of the beneficiary. This means that in most cases, when a beneficiary requests the documents relating to the set up of the trust, it must be provided to them. In most situations, a Long Island trustee has 10 days after request to either provide those documents or allow them to be copied.
This law deals with more than just the trust documents however, something that is important to keep in mind for the trustee. Along with the trust documents, the trustee is required to give access to any document related to the trust or to give an accounting if it is requested by the beneficiary. This would include financial records that show how the trustee is handling investing the assets of the trust or any other financial transaction, for that matter. It is wise to get an accounting of what has been done with the trust periodically so that the beneficiary understands what is going on with it, even if the trustee is trustworthy.
A Long Island trustee has many duties when it comes to handling the estate and part of that is to keep peace with the beneficiary. A large part of this is to keep the handling of the trust transparent and to provide documents when they are requested. This is more easily accomplished by keeping extremely good records from the beginning to ease providing copies when it is eventually needed. It is also wise to not make the beneficiary have to ask for those documents in the first place by providing periodic accounting to the beneficiaries and making sure that you follow up with them often, to let them know about the state of the trust assets. By keeping the beneficiaries in the loop, even if they aren’t particularly interested in that point in time, it may help avoid problems down the road.
If you are a beneficiary of a trust and the trustee is refusing to turn over the trust documents or any other documents related to the trust, such as financial records, call a Long Island trust and estate attorney right away. There is something that you can do about it, but there are times where the court may have to get involved to either force the exchange of documents or removal of the trustee.
If you would like to speak with a Long Island trust and estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.