How Long Does It Take To Distribute Assets From A Trustee?

How Long Does It Take To Distribute Assets From A Trustee?

March 14, 2023

How Long Does It Take To Distribute Assets From A Trustee?

If you are a beneficiary waiting for asset distribution from a trust, it is likely that you are concerned about the timing of this process. A trustee must administer the trust according to the terms of the trust instrument, including any asset distribution plan set forth in the trust document. Here are some guidelines for that process from our experienced legal attorneys.

The Trustee’s Role

The trustee is responsible for managing the assets placed in a trust. This responsibility entails three primary duties: investment, administration, and distribution. The trustee must adhere to strict fiduciary duty rules in order to administer a trust in the best interests of its beneficiaries. These rules include a duty to keep personal and trust property separate, to not favor one beneficiary over another, and to report and account to beneficiaries. A trustee also has a responsibility to prepare an inventory of the trust assets and their value. This inventory can help the trust’s beneficiaries know exactly what they’re getting at the time of distribution. In addition, a trustee should prepare tax-related forms and filings. They must also communicate with beneficiaries about any changes in their situation or questions they have. They must also keep records of their work. This can be a time-consuming process. However, it’s important to complete these tasks in a timely manner so the trust can continue on without any issues.

Distribution Of Assets

The distribution of assets from a trust is a complex decision that needs to be handled with care. This includes deciding what type of distributions to make, when to make them, and whether or not you should give beneficiaries any discretion over the distributions you make. The first step in distributing assets from a trust is to review the trust document and determine what directives must be followed in making distributions. The trustee will then make the appropriate distributions in accordance with the terms of the trust instrument. A trustee may be required to complete distributions within a reasonable time according to probate law. However, sometimes there are tax issues, property or other asset sales, beneficiary disputes or other concerns that slow down the trust administration process. If there is a delay in completing distributions, the trustee can make preliminary distributions to deal with these issues with a will and trust attorney before making final distributions of all trust assets. This is referred to as a “partial distribution.”

Disputes With Beneficiaries

Sometimes, a trustee and a beneficiary will disagree about what is best for their inheritance. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Often, the cause of disputes with beneficiaries is a breach of fiduciary duty. This includes failure to distribute funds on time, making distributions that were not required, or ignoring instructions from the trust grantor. If a fiduciary is not acting in the best interests of the trust, beneficiaries can bring suit to remove that trustee. This is typically done in probate court, and beneficiaries can file a petition to have the trustee removed from their position. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration are also available if parties can’t resolve their issues in court. These methods are faster, cheaper, and less emotionally taxing than litigation. Contact us today for assistance!

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