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Trusts are legally enforceable documents

Many Ohio residents find it beneficial to place their assets in a trust and appoint a trusted friend or relative to act as the trustee. However, after the settlor dies, problems may arise. In some cases, the beneficiaries may want more information from the trustee regarding the assets but may be frustrated if the trustee does not wish to communicate with them. As a result, the parties might mistrust each other.

The job of the trustee is to follow the wishes of the settlor, which may put him or her in a difficult position as it relates to the beneficiaries of the trust who wish to ensure they will get what they are entitled to receive. They may even feel that the trustee is not doing his or her job.

Beneficiaries in these circumstances could attempt to solve the problem by contacting the trustee and explaining their feelings in a calm and non-confrontational way. The beneficiaries also have the right to request a copy of the trust agreement, so they can review the document's terms, the trustee's responsibilities and their rights.

Because trusts are legally enforceable documents, the parties involved are required to fulfill their role. Therefore, if the beneficiaries' concerns are still unresolved, or the trustee refuses to hand over a copy of the trust for their review, the beneficiaries have the right to turn to the courts for help.

Trusts are not only for wealthy people. They can be useful in helping a person to avoid probate as well as time the distributions of property to beneficiaries. People who are interested in learning more about how these types of vehicles may be appropriate for their situations may want to meet with an estate planning attorney.

Source: NWI , "Trusts can be enforced", Christopher Yugo, Aug. 7, 2016

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