Cleveland, Ohio Estate Planning Attorney
Can a Beneficiary Force a Trustee to Provide Information Contained in a Trust?
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If you’re resident of Ohio, then as a beneficiary, you have a right to see a trust and can force the trustee to provide you a look. Under Ohio law, the Trustee is obligated to give a copy of the trust to beneficiaries if they ask for it. Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney Daniel A. Baron points to Ohio Revised Code Section 5808.13 which provides in part
“A trustee shall keep the current beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed about the administration of the trust and of the material facts necessary for them to protect their interests. Unless unreasonable under the circumstances, a trustee shall promptly respond to a beneficiary’s request for information related to the administration of the trust.”
The Ohio statute further provides that a trustee must:
“Upon the request of a beneficiary, promptly furnish to the beneficiary a copy of the trust instrument. Unless the beneficiary expressly requests a copy of the entire trust instrument, the trustee may furnish to the beneficiary a copy of a redacted trust instrument that includes only those provisions of the trust instrument that the trustee determines are relevant to the beneficiary’s interest in the trust. If the beneficiary requests a copy of the entire trust instrument after receiving a copy of a redacted trust instrument, the trustee shall furnish a copy of the entire trust instrument to the beneficiary. If the settlor of a revocable trust that has become irrevocable has completely restated the terms of the trust, the trust instrument furnished by the trustee shall be the restated trust instrument, including any amendments to the restated trust instrument.”
Put more simply, if you’re a beneficiary to a trust, you simply need to ask and you will be provided a copy of the trust. Conversely, if you’re the Trustee and receive one of the requests listed above, you likely have to comply. Beneficiaries having problems getting information from a Trustee should refer to the above statute. Trustees who fail to respond risk being removed as the Trustee. In addition, if there is a law suit, the attorney’s fees would be taken out of the trust, thus reducing the value to all beneficiaries.
This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If you need an estate planning attorney, trust attorney, wills attorney, or other Cleveland, Ohio attorney contact Baron Law LLC at 216.573.3723. You will speak directly with an Ohio attorney who can assist you with your legal needs.