What are a beneficiary’s rights regarding the administration of a Trust?

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What are a beneficiary’s rights regarding the administration of a Trust?

My mother has Alzheimer’s and has been in a nursing home for 2 years. She has a Trust and her daughter is the trustee. I know that I am in the Trust but the daughter won’t give me a copy of it and is selling her mother’s property, giving away personal belongings. Don’t I have a right to know what’s in the Trust before everything is gone?

Asked on January 19, 2015 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a beneficiary, you can demand an accounting.

You can also sue the trustee for breach of trust for not complying with the provisions of the Trust by giving away your mother's personal property and selling your mother's real property.  The remedy to seek in your lawsuit for breach of trust is a constructive trust.  A constructive trust requires the trustee to return the items or their value to the trust that have been misappropriated.

If the Trust provides for removal of the trustee (assuming you are able to obtain a copy of the Trust), follow the procedures for removal and appointment of a successor trustee.  A successor trustee may already be designated by the Trust.  If there aren't any procedures for removal of the trustee, your lawsuit can also petition the court for removal of the trustee and appointment of a successor.  If no successor trustee has been designated by the Trust, the court will appoint a successor.


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