A person can transfer assets into a trust to benefit others. The trustee is the person selected to manage the trust and beneficiaries are entitled to receive benefits under the trust. Laws regarding requirements for a trust are state-specific, but general rules like a trustee's duties and a beneficiary's rights are the same throughout the 50 states.
The trustee has a duty to manage the trust’s assets in the beneficiaries’ best interests. This means distributing the assets to beneficiaries as set forth in the trust, avoiding risky investments and treating all beneficiaries impartially.
Read More: Trustee Duties for a Revocable Trust After Death
Beneficiaries are entitled to receive a financial accounting of the trust, including bank statements, regularly. When statements are not received as requested, a beneficiary must submit a written demand to the trustee. If records are received, but the beneficiary is concerned with the trustee’s actions or questions the disbursements and receipts on the bank statement, he can seek court intervention. The court will review the trust account for any discrepancies or irregular activity.
When a trustee fails to provide requested bank statements, he may be removed from his position. Additionally, if, after court review, it is determined that a trustee abused his position and misused the trust’s assets, he will also be liable for any monetary damages owed to the beneficiaries.
Bernadette A. Safrath is an attorney who has been writing professionally since 2008. Safrath was published in Touro Law Center's law review and now writes legal articles for various websites. Safrath has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Long Island University at C.W. Post, as well as a Juris Doctor from Touro College.