There’s a difference between the lawyer who represents the Trust that you’re a Beneficiary of and the lawyer that represents Beneficiaries. A very big difference.
And the reason there is sometimes confusion is because somebody becomes the Beneficiary of their parents’ Trust and they believe they can call the attorney who’s handling the Trust Administration – the lawyer who represents the Trustee – and say, “Hey, I’d like to talk to you about the Trust.” And they are surprised when the lawyer says, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you about the Trust, because you’re not my client. I represent the Trustee in this case. And so I really can’t give you a whole lot of information other than the Trustee allows me to give you.” And Beneficiaries are frustrated by this.
And they’ll give us a call and say, “Hey, shouldn’t that lawyer be working for me, too, since I’m a Beneficiary of the Trust?” And the answer is no, that lawyer should not be working for you. The lawyer should be polite to you and tell you exactly how the Trust Administration works and that you have a right, as a Trust Beneficiary, to have your own independent lawyer, but, ultimately, they represent the Trustee and they’re going to do their job representing the Trustee.
If you think there’s anything that the Trustee’s doing inappropriately, you’ll need to hire your own attorney who will represent YOUR beneficial interest in the Trust.