Q: Are all named beneficiaries entitled to receive their own copy of the trust deed once the trustor has passed away?
My grandmother had a revocable living trust in place and has recently passed away. She designated a friend as her successor trustee and named my father and my uncle, and all four of her grandchildren as beneficiaries in the trust deed. I've not actually seen the document, but I'm told it states for both properties to be sold and then the funds generated from the sales as follows: each of the 4 grandchildren get 1% of the total amount from the combined sales, with the remaining 96% to be equally split 50/50 between my father and my uncle.
The trustee has provided my father and my uncle with copies of the trust however when I asked for my own copy she refused to give me one, stating that if I would like, she'd photocopy *only* the pages that reference my inheritance and provide me with that, but nothing more.
I'm unclear how she came to the conclusion that some, but not all of the beneficiaries were entitled to their own copies of the document?
She is incorrect in this action, no?
A: If you are a named beneficiary of the Trust, even just 1%, then you are entitled to a copy of the full terms of the trust terms upon request. I would suggest making a written request, ideally by e-mail or letter, and then consulting an attorney if the trustee continues to refuse.
A: Trustees are required to give all beneficiaries a formal Notice To Beneficiaries that says you are entitled to see a complete copy of the trust. I assume the successor trustee is not represented by a lawyer, so she is making up her own rules as she believes is best. If she were represented by an attorney, the attorney would help her with her duties, including this very important step. You should give her a written request for a complete copy of the trust and, if she says no, suggest she hire an attorney to make the process go more smoothly. Best wishes!
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