Trusts can act as useful protection for assets, especially ones that need distributing after a person’s death. When the time comes to handle those remaining assets, the successor trustee has the responsibility of following instructions involved with administering the trust.
Of course, as with any type of task relating to a person’s remaining estate, settling a trust can have its complications. You may worry about what will happen to your loved one’s assets, and as a beneficiary, you may wonder when you will receive assets to which you are entitled. If your loved one created a revocable trust, it is likely that the trustee will distribute assets and dissolve the account.
What can cause complications?
Because assets in a trust do not have to go through probate, you may expect to receive your bequest in a relatively timely manner. However, the trust maker may have added certain stipulations in the instructions that indicate that the trustee can only distribute assets under certain circumstances. The trust maker could also have named co-trustees in an effort to ensure the correct following of the instructions. The issue with multiple trustees is that they need to be in agreement when it comes to decisions, which could mean decision-making takes longer.
In some cases, a designated trustee may not want to take on the role. This can cause complications because the court would need to appoint a new trustee if the trust maker did not appoint someone else to prepare for this contingency. As expected, you would have to wait until a trustee takes on the position before distribution of assets can take place.
Beneficiaries can cause issues
The complications that could come about do not just relate to the trustees. The beneficiaries could also contribute to delays and difficulties. For instance, if the trust has multiple beneficiaries, the trustee would need to send necessary paperwork to each one and wait for them to return the documents with signatures or other needed information. Plus, if beneficiaries disagree on the distribution of the assets or other aspects of the trust’s administration, further conflict could ensue.
If you have questions or concerns about the administration of a loved one’s trust, you can gain information on your rights as a beneficiary. Speaking with a New York attorney experienced in this area of law may ensure that you obtain reliable and applicable information.