Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.

Disagreements between trustees and beneficiaries

Ohio residents who want to protect their legacy may choose to establish a trust. This is a legal arrangement in which a trustee carries out the settlor's wishes. If the trustee does not act in accordance with the trust instructions, the beneficiaries can take action.

It is not uncommon for trustees and beneficiaries to have misunderstandings about trust administration. While the beneficiary may believe that the trustee has acted improperly, the trustee may simply be carrying out the instructions of the settlor. When there is confusion about the role of the trustee or the rights of the beneficiaries, the first step to resolve this problem is to have honest communication between the trustee and beneficiary. The beneficiary needs to understand that the trustee is bound to the terms that the grantor established and is not trying to pointlessly keep funds away from him or her.

Trustees are often not aware when beneficiaries have a problem about the administration of trusts. The beneficiary can also advance his or her own interests by requesting a copy of the trust agreement. By reading through the trust instrument, the beneficiary will have a better understanding of the trustee's actions and can tell if these actions align with the trust instructions. If the trustee refuses to provide a copy of the trust instrument or the beneficiary is convinced that the trustee is acting improperly, he or she may choose to have the trust enforced, cancelled or modified in court.

Trusts are legally enforceable documents that outline the rights and obligations of the parties. If one of the parties fails to carry out these obligations, the other party may decide to have the trust enforced. Beneficiaries may choose to contact an attorney to find out about their legal rights and options.

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Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Executive Commons West
29425 Chagrin Blvd.
Suite 305
Cleveland, OH 44122

Toll Free: 888-335-6650
Phone: 216-245-0504
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