If a trustee is not showing you a copy of the trust, perhaps you need to ask them first. If you are a beneficiary to a trust, to obtain a copy, you will need to contact the trustee by making a written request. Another way is to have another beneficiary get you a copy. If you are unsure if you are a beneficiary, you can write to the trustee to inquire whether you are a named beneficiary. A trustee must automatically provide a named beneficiary under a trust with a copy of the trust instrument. However, if you are not a beneficiary, the trustee is under no legal obligation to provide it.
What Happens if a Trustee is Not Showing a Beneficiary a Copy of the Trust?
If the trustee ignores your request and fails to provide you with a copy of the trust, it is recommended that you contact a trust attorney to assist you with the matter. An attorney can advise you if you have sufficient grounds to file a petition asking the Court to issue an order compelling the trustee to provide you with a copy of the trust. If it is determined that you do have sufficient grounds, the attorney can prepare the petition and represent you at the hearing.
If you are a beneficiary of the trust, the court will usually order the trustee to provide a copy of the trust. In a separate proceeding, the court will order the trustee to account for the trust’s assets. Trustees can be removed for failure to account for the corpus of the trust and for failure to comply with the court order and provide a copy of the trust to the beneficiaries.
When a trustee does not provide a copy of the trust to the beneficiaries, they may start suspecting that the trustee is hiding something from them. And they feel that the trustee could be doing something that will result in the beneficiaries not getting their fair share of the trust. Here is what the beneficiaries may suspect the trustee of doing:
- hiding money
- hiding information
- stealing money from the estate
- taking property from the estate
- making mistakes
- not making the right decisions
- ignoring executor responsibilities
New York City Trust Attorney
Since trust matters are complicated, find a New York City trust attorney who is the most qualified to assist you with finding out whether you are entitled to an inheritance under a trust and obtaining a copy of the trust instrument. If you wish to speak to an experienced New York City trust attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.