Whom you choose to serve in any significant role in your estate or trust administration is very important because this person must communicate clearly with your beneficiaries.
When creating a trust and appointing a trustee, you expect that they will live up to their responsibilities and maintain regular communication with beneficiaries. Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges many beneficiaries report is a trustee who doesn’t communicate with them.
This can include refusing to talk about a sale of assets, such as stocks or real property, refusing to inform a beneficiary about the assets of the trust, or when assets can be distributed. Many people appointed as a trustee of trusts may assume they have broad discretion to do what they want. However, under New Hampshire Probate Code, there are strict requirements.
In many cases, trust documents also have specific instructions about what a trustee must do for a beneficiary, and at the top of that list is usually communication. A trustee still must communicate to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed about all actions the trustee is taking on behalf of the trust. Furthermore, beneficiaries must be informed about distributions from the trust since this is a crucial component of a trust administration process.
Trustees should be prepared to communicate with trust beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries who are not communicated with may be able to file a petition in probate court. If you’re thinking about establishing a trust, think carefully about whom you choose to appoint in the role of trustee.
Our New Hampshire estate planning lawyers know the right questions to ask to help you figure out the best way to move forward with a comprehensive estate plan.