Let’s say that you find out that you’re a beneficiary of a $3 million trust. There are three beneficiaries. You’re supposed to get a million dollars at the end of this. It’s a very happy, exciting day for you.
You call the trustee’s attorney, and you say to the trustee’s attorney, “Hey, I have some questions for you.” And the trustee’s attorney said, “Happy to help. Fire away. I’ll answer all your questions.” Sure enough, you ask your ten questions. That attorney answers all of them.
You feel good as a beneficiary, because you believe this is the trust’s “attorney.” You believe that he or she is required to look after your interest.
The trustee’s attorney, while he or she does represent the trustee and the trust, represents the trustee and the trustee’s interest in the trust, as the officer of that trust. The trustee’s attorney does not represent the trust beneficiaries.
Now, the trustee’s attorney should be willing to give some preliminary information to the trust beneficiaries. But he or she doesn’t represent the beneficiaries.
If there are questionable things happening in your trust that you’re the beneficiary of — you’re not getting information, or you’re not getting distributions, or the trustee is refusing to communicate with you— then you, as the beneficiary, are going to have to hire your OWN lawyer who will then call the trust lawyer to figure out what is going on. Chances are, they’ll hopefully be able to iron all that out and get your rightful distribution sooner than later.