Are you a beneficiary of a trust? Is the trustee not giving you information? Is the trustee working around rules to not pay you annual income and regular distributions required by the trust? Sometimes the trustee in these circumstances is a family member who is simply mismanaging the trust but many times the trustee is a bank that benefits more by keeping more money in the trust instead of distributing that money to you as a beneficiary.
Trustees, which are often banks, frequently are paid based on a percentage of the trust’s value. For this reason, many bank trustees refuse to follow the terms of the trust or make up excuses not to pay beneficiaries because this decreases their own revenue.
Colorado law defines willful misconduct as intentional wrongdoing and not mere negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness. An example of this would be holding trust income in the trust while the trust requires that all trust income be paid to beneficiaries.
Some trustees attempt to refuse to provide inventories and accountings to the trust beneficiaries by arguing that they are a trust director instead of a normal trustee. However, the trustee’s statutory duty to provide information to beneficiaries under CRS §15-5-813 applies to trust directors to the same extent as it applies to trustees.
If you haven’t received a full inventory or accounting or you believe the trustee/bank is not following the terms of the trust, you have to act fast. Colorado Law previously had a 3 year statute of limitations (deadline) to file a lawsuit or commence arbitration, but recent changes appear to have limited this to one year.
If you are a beneficiary of a trust and you are having trustee problems, call Rossi Law for more information.