Technically, an individual does not have to do anything if assigned as a beneficiary to a trust. However, a beneficiary’s inactive participation in the trust’s monitoring may put the trust assets at risk of mishandling and improper management. When this happens, it can adversely affect the beneficiary’s rights. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your rights in case of trustee misconduct.
Understand your rights
For a beneficiary to adequately protect their rights to the trust, it is important to understand these rights first. A beneficiary has the right to:
- Monitor the trust assets and the trustee’s management activities
- Receive a copy of the trust and accounting information showing gains, losses and expenses
- Enforce the terms of the trust
- Hold the trustee accountable
If the beneficiary properly exercises their rights, it can keep the trustee in check and prevent them from committing any actions harmful to the trust and the beneficiary.
Remedies against the trustee
If the trustee fails to provide the beneficiary with the complete and correct information or breaches their fiduciary duty of properly managing the trust account, the beneficiary can bring the issue to court. They can ask the court to compel the trustee to release information or bring a lawsuit against the trustee, depending on the case.
If you suspect that the trustee is concealing information about the trust or has not been performing their fiduciary duty to standard, you can start looking into possible remedies, including taking legal action. You may consult a legal professional if you have any doubts about the proper steps.