Is the neneficiary of a trust fund set up in a will the beneficiary of the will as well? I am fignting my brother in law’s attorney as he is executor because he is saying that I am not a beneficiary of the will ONLY a beneficiary of myTrust in will

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Is the neneficiary of a trust fund set up in a will the beneficiary of the will as well? I am fignting my brother in law’s attorney as he is executor because he is saying that I am not a beneficiary of the will ONLY a beneficiary of myTrust in will

I am fighting my brother’s attorney who has stated now that I am NOT a beneficiary owed a fiduciary duty by them because I am not a beneficiary of the actual will ONLY a beneficiary of my trust fund set up in the will. So, they claim that I am owed NO fiduciary duty and no accounting.

Please assist if possible. The matter is in a Tennessee Court.

Asked on August 13, 2017 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the trust was created by the will, then you are a beneficiary of the will; you (and the trust) are named in the will. However, your interest in the will extends only to the creation and funding of the trust. If the trust is fully funded by the will (e.g. the will said to put $100,000 into the trust, and $100,000 were put in), then you have no right to a more general accounting, since you have no interest beyond the $100k put into the trust.
But if the trust were not fully funded (i.e. the amount of money or other property/assets specified was not put into it), or the funding is "open ended" (e.g.. it was "the rest and residue of my estate shall go into a trust for....") so that an accounting is necessary to determine if the terms of the trust are being complied with, then you would have the right to an accounting.
If the attorney is fighing you on this, you may wish to retain your own probate or trusts and estates attorney to help you.


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