Continuing The Tradition Of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

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For California trust beneficiaries: A compassionate guide

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Trust Administration |

Receiving an inheritance through a trust can evoke a mix of emotions—anticipation, grief and perhaps even confusion. 

If you have recently lost a loved one and expect to benefit from a trust fund they left behind, this short guide can help during the early aftermath.

After your family member dies

You may not be thinking of practical matters right now, but knowing your rights and what to expect is critical.

Shortly after your loved one’s passing, you should receive a notification informing you of the trust, even if you knew about it in advance. You also have the right to request and receive a copy of the document and get answers to any questions you may have.

Learn about the details of the trust

The trust document should contain the information you need as a beneficiary. It will depend on the specific stipulations outlined by the grantor (trust maker), but here are some common scenarios for trust distributions:

  • Receiving unlimited access to trust assets
  • Receiving a single lump-sum payment
  • Receiving periodic payments over time
  • Receiving payment after specific conditions (turning a certain age, etc.)

The trust’s language and terms can help you understand how disbursements work in your situation. It can also help you identify discrepancies between asset distributions and your loved one’s intentions.

Role of the trustee

The trustee is responsible for managing and protecting the trust and distributing payments according to the grantor’s wishes.

Most do a remarkable job, but misconduct or incompetence can happen when another is in charge of your property. If you suspect the trustee breached their duty or is perhaps in over their heads – consider legal guidance. It can help you choose wise next steps and preserve your loved one’s final wishes.