Every beneficiary of a Trust has a right to information. What do you want to know about your Trust? What the assets are, how much each asset is worth, the expenses of the Trust, the timeline for paying creditors, the need for a preliminary or final distribution? All fair requests to make and it is all good information that a Trustee must share with you as a beneficiary.
And yet, all too often, Trustee’s believe they have no duty to share information. You have to wait six months or a year for an accounting they say. Well that may be true (then again it may not), but information and accountings are two different things. In fact, they have two separate code sections under the California Probate Code. The duty to report information is located at Probate Code section 16061, and the duty to account is at section 16062.
The duty is best summarized under Probate Code section 16060, which says a trustee has a duty “to keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the trust and its administration.” Seems easy enough. Then why is it so hard for some beneficiaries to obtain information from the Trustee?
The biggest problem is that many Trustees simply do not know about their duties to provide information to beneficiaries when requested. And most courts will enforce the Trustee’s duty to provide information to beneficiaries.
So if you are not getting the information you require, ask for it in writing. And if that does not work, then go to court because you are entitled to Trust information.