What if a Trustee doesn’t Distribute your Inheritance?

When you discover you have been named the beneficiary of a loved one’s estate, you may be anxious to receive your distribution. This is especially true if you are struggling financially and could use the extra income to make ends meet. So, when the trustee seems to be dragging his or her feet, it can be extremely frustrating.

There are a variety of reasons a trustee is not making distributions to the beneficiaries. One of the most common, however, is that the trustee simply does not understand what is required by the trust. Most people who are appointed to serve as a trustee are not experienced in being a trustee, and it can be a difficult job. Trust documents are confusing and figuring out the appropriate steps to take as the trustee can take time.

Another reason you may not be receiving your distributions is that there are problems involving property or issues in administration of the trust. It is always best to speak to the trustee and/or have legal counsel speak to the trustee to find out the circumstances.

In other cases, however, the trustee may be lazy and not taking the tasks assigned by the trust seriously. In severe instances, the trustee may be refusing to make distributions because he or she is attempting to hide his or her own misconduct. By failing to distribute trust assets, the trustee can conceal the mismanagement or wrongful taking of trust assets.

As a beneficiary, if the trustee is not distributing your inheritance and not communicating with you as to why, it is essential that you take immediate action. The longer your put off getting help from an attorney, the more likely the trust assets will be harmed. A lawyer can review the trust document and conduct an investigation as to why the trustee is not doing his or her job. If the trust is incompetent, negligent or acting intentionally, we can help you seek to remove the trustee or take other actions to ensure you get the inheritance you deserve. A recent estate we read about involved a situation where a period of over 15 years went by. The family let some of the other family members use certain property. After the individuals died, the rest of the family discovered that the title to the property had been wrongfully transferred, sold and funds diverted to other persons. Now it’s too late to do anything! It never pays to wait.

The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.