Being a beneficiary of a trust can be overwhelming. According to a trust’s terms, you may be entitled to income, principal, or none at all, depending on how the trust instrument is written. At the Law Offices of Charles L. Kurmay, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge. This blog aims to educate you about what to expect from a trustee, helping you understand your rights and the standard duties of a trustee.

Trustee Responsibilities: A Brief Overview

A trustee is the custodian of your trust’s assets. Their core responsibilities include responsibly managing these assets, adhering to the trust’s terms, and acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries. Key duties involve:

Asset Management: Managing and investing trust assets prudently, as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes, Sec., 45a-499ddd, and others.

Impartiality: Treating all beneficiaries fairly and equally. See, C.G.S., Sec. 45a-499ccc.

Accountability: Providing regular, detailed accounts of how the trust’s funds have been managed.

Transparency: Ensuring beneficiaries are informed and have access to relevant documents.

Your Rights as a Beneficiary

You have the right to:

• Receive timely distributions as outlined in the trust.
• Be informed about trust assets and their management.
• Question and challenge decisions that don’t align with the trust’s terms or your best interests.

Legal Remedies for Trustee Misconduct

If a trustee fails in their duties, beneficiaries have legal recourse. This can include:

Demanding Accounting: Legally requesting a full accounting of trust activities. Trustees may be obligated to account pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes, section 45a-175(c).

Challenging Decisions: Contesting a trustee’s actions that adversely affect your interests that may be contrary to the trust terms or the law. The law gives you the right to take compel or prohibit an action by a trustee or even to remove a trustee if it is warranted. See, inter alia, C.G.S., Sec. 45a-499ww.

Taking Legal Action: Your right to take legal action regarding trusts used to be confined to the Superior Court. The law has been expanded to give the probate court jurisdiction over many disputes regarding trusts. You likely have the option to take action in either court depending on the dispute.

At the Law Offices of Charles L. Kurmay, we’re committed to protecting your interests. If you’re facing challenges with a trustee’s conduct, we’re here to help, from demanding accountability to representing you in court.

For more detailed information on trust law and beneficiaries’ rights, we recommend visiting the Connecticut General Assembly Chapter 802c – Trusts.

Understanding your rights and the duties of a trustee is crucial for effective trust management. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your trust is managed effectively and your interests are protected.