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Hi, this is Keith Davidson from Albertson & Davidson. In this video, we’re talking about trust accountings. And we just finished a video where we talked about when you are entitled to a trust accounting and it depends on the type of beneficiary you are. But there’s two instances where you may not be entitled to a trust accounting, no matter what type of beneficiary you are. And the first instance is if the trust waives an accounting.
This is where you have to read through your trust document to find out if the trust document waives the trustee’s obligation to account. Normally a trustee has an obligation to account during certain periods, like once a year, or any time there’s a change of trustee. But if the trust document waives that accounting right or obligation, then you’re not going to be entitled to an accounting.
You can still get one, however. If you go to court and you can show that there’s a high degree of likelihood that the trustee has breached their duties of trust, then the court can still order an accounting, even though the trust document waives it. But the trustee doesn’t have to automatically give you an accounting. So look at your trust document and see if it waives an accounting.
The other instance is if you, as a beneficiary, waived the right to an accounting. You may voluntarily sign a document waiving your right to an accounting and, in that instance, the trustee does not have to account to you any longer. You can revoke that waiver and you can do the revocation of the waiver of accounting at any time. However, once you revoke a waiver of accounting, the trustee only has to account for actions after you did the revocation of the waiver. They don’t have to go all the way back.
But you’re still entitled to information. So even if you can’t get an accounting, at a minimum, you should be asking for information about your trust. You should see the bank statements, the brokerage account statements. If real property is sold, you should see the closing statement. You have a right to be reasonably informed about the business of your trust and you should ask for that information in writing. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just send off a letter, an email, or a fax, asking the trustee to give you the documents so you can double check that everything is running smoothly.