As 1 of the 3 beneficiaries of a trust what information should the executor be sharing?

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As 1 of the 3 beneficiaries of a trust what information should the executor be sharing?

My aunt passed away last month and had no children of her own. She left her estate in whole to me and my 2 sisters. The executor is someone separate from our family. I would like to know if I should have received copies of paperwork already? My aunt had 3 life insurance policies, her home, and numerous stocks and investments at a minimum. Are my sisters and I due to know what that all entails for each of us? I would like to know the legal firm involved with the trust but feel I will offend the executer by asking. Bottom line I want to know all I am entitled to knowing as a beneficiary.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I know that it may seem awkward to ask a lot of questions but really, you have every right to inquire.  Understand, though, that the attorneys for the estate represent the estate and the executor, not the beneficiares.  They do not have to account to you.  The executor and trustee does.  Now, a Will is a public record but a trust is not.  Yet you should be entitled to a copy as a beneficiary.  Also, your state probably has on the books a law that requires a trustee to file a yearly accounting.  You can request one of the estate.  Asking keeps everyone honest, so to speak.  Good luck.


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