Q: Can an "institutional trustee" require a beneficiary to sign a release to hold them harmless of any claims
partial distribution check arrived with receipt and release form to sign releasing the trustee from any claims and liabilities in administration of trust Is that legal? CALIF
A: Dear San Jose:
A trustee cannot make a distribution contingent on your signing a release. However, they may ask for one and many institutional trustees and private fiduciaries do so a part of normal business practice.
A receipt is a different matter and are routinely requested for the Trustee's records. While I consider it poor form, it is not uncommon to combine a release and receipt. (My preference is to have them as separate documents, so that there is less confusion later over whether or not the release was "knowingly and voluntarily" entered into.
If you have any concerns over their form, you could simply acknowledge the receipt of the distribution in a letter to the Trustee. No need to get fancy, something as simple as "I received the check from the NAME OF TRUST in the amount of AMOUNT" will suffice.
If you have any questions or concerns about how the Trust is being administrated or your rights in the trust, you should discuss them with an attorney. If you don't know how to find one, try your local county bar association. Most run a referral service where, for a low or no fee, you receive a consultation with an attorney in your area of need.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.