Trustees, be careful not to violate the rights of beneficiaries

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2023 | Estate And Trust Administration

As a trustee, you hold and manage property on behalf of the beneficiaries named in the trust. That makes you responsible for protecting its assets and following the trust maker or settlor’s wishes.

You also have a responsibility to those whom the trust benefits. Violating the rights of beneficiaries can lead to a trust dispute or perhaps even litigation. Understanding their rights can help you make wise choices when fulfilling your role as a trustee.

The right to documentation

The direct beneficiaries of a trust fund are entitled to receive copies of the trust documents after the settlor passes. It falls on you as the trustee to ensure beneficiaries receive their copies as soon as possible. Failing to provide copies could give disgruntled beneficiaries reason to accuse you of wrongdoing.

The right to information

As you go about managing the trust, remember that the beneficiaries have a right to know about your activities. They deserve and expect a full account of how you handle the assets held in the trust.

Failure to inform beneficiaries about investments and financial transactions is one of the most common grounds for a trust dispute.

The right to challenge

Beneficiaries who feel a trustee acted improperly or violated Texas trust administration laws may challenge your conduct in probate court. However, you can prevent this by ensuring you always follow the letter of the law for as long as you are responsible for the trust.

As you might expect, trust litigation can lead to financial losses and emotional trauma. Those concerned about allegations of trust mismanagement can protect their best interests by seeking legal guidance.