Whether you are a trustee or beneficiary under a trust agreement, you may want to know who has more rights, a trustee or a beneficiary. The answer is, neither. It’s not a question of who has more rights, but that the rights are different. The trustee has the right to manage the trust and the beneficiary has the right to benefit from the trust.
This is the general answer. The details may be a little different depending on the details of your trust.
As a trustee, you have certain rights and powers to manage the trust. They are different depending on the trust, but are typically are as follows:
Note, however, that all of the abovementioned rights and powers must be understood in the context of the fiduciary duty of a trustee. Whatever rights and powers you have cannot be exercised in such a way that would disadvantage or prejudice the trust or its beneficiaries. Thus, a trustee does not necessarily have more rights than the beneficiary just because the trust provides him with several rights and powers.
If you are a beneficiary of a trust, you might think that you have little to no power over the trust. That is not completely true. A beneficiary has more rights than you think. While indeed, it is the trustee who has legal title and the right to manage the trust assets, the fact remains that you are still the beneficiary for whom the trust has been set up for.
The following are the common rights of a beneficiary under a trust arrangement:
As you might observe, the determination of who has more rights between a trustee and a beneficiary would largely depend on the trust itself. Some trust agreements provide the trustee with a large amount of discretion over the trust. Other times, the trust provisions leave the trustee with very little power as to favor the beneficiary in terms of rights.
In order to fully understand the extent of your rights under New York law, it is important to first understand what a trust is.
If you are looking for a lawyer who knows who has more right, a trustee or a beneficiary, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. You can call us at 212-233-1233 or send us an email at [email protected].
In a trust agreement, a “trustor” or “grantor” appoints a person called a trustee to handle or manage certain assets and property for the benefit of a third party called the beneficiary. The trustee holds legal title to the said assets on behalf of the beneficiary who, on the other hand, is entitled to enforce certain rights under the trust. But as to who has more rights between a trustee or beneficiary, this will depend a lot on the trust document itself.
There are many reasons behind wanting to establish a trust. For example, a father who wants to transfer property to his child might be worried that the latter may be too young to properly manage it. Instead of directly transferring the property, the parent might want to appoint a trustee who would oversee its management until the said child comes of age.
Other common reasons for establishing trust involves the minimization of tax liabilities and asset protection purposes. A trust is a flexible legal tool that may be formulated and designed to suit your specific estate planning needs. Each trust is different based on why and how it’s set up. Therefore, the rights of a trustee and beneficiary are different depending on each trust.
Whether you are a trustee or a beneficiary, always remember the importance of hiring an experienced New York estate and trust attorney who can assist and guide you in protecting your rights under the trust. Having a lawyer ensures that you are properly guided in every legal step you take. If you are looking for a qualified and experienced lawyer who knows who has more right, a trustee or a beneficiary, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York City, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 212-233-1233 or send us an email at [email protected].