I Am a Beneficiary of a Trust. What Information Can I Obtain?

As a beneficiary of a Trust, the Trustee owes certain duties to the beneficiaries.  The Kentucky Revised Statutes set forth duties which are owed from the Trustee to the beneficiary or beneficiaries.  First and foremost, the Trustee, during their term of service, is to administer the Trust according to the guidelines or purposes laid out in the Trust itself by the creator or Settlor.  The Trustee is required to use good faith in carrying out the Trust purposes which at all times should be solely in interest of the beneficiaries, using reasonable care, skill and caution.  This requires the actions of the Trustee to be impartial in terms of investing, managing and distributing the assets of the Trust in accordance with the purposes of the Trust, taking into account the beneficiaries’ interests in the Trust.  In terms of information for beneficiaries, the Trustee is to keep the beneficiary or beneficiaries reasonably informed concerning the administration of the Trust, supplying information and facts necessary for the beneficiary or beneficiaries to protect their interests in the Trust.  The Trustee is to promptly respond when a beneficiary seeks or requests information which is related to the workings or administration of the Trust. The statutes mandate within 60 days of becoming a Trustee, the Trustee is to notify beneficiaries that they have become the Trustee, and provide contact information so the beneficiaries can get in touch with the Trustee.  This contact information shall consist at a minimum of the name of the Trustee, their address and telephone number. If the Trustee learns of the creation of an Irrevocable Trust or that a Revocable Trust has become Irrevocable, this information must be communicated within 60 days to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trustee is also obligated to supply the identity of the settlor or settlors, the right to request a copy of the Trust instrument and to receive the Trustees report.  In addition, if there is a change in how the Trustee’s compensation is calculated or the rate of the Trustee’s compensation, this information must be conveyed to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. As a beneficiary of a Trust, you may request a copy of the Trust instrument, which is to be furnished to you promptly. You are also entitled to receive at least yearly, and when the Trust is terminated, information or report of the Trust property, its liabilities, receipts, disbursements (including the source and amount of the Trustee’s compensation), a listing of the assets in the Trust and, if feasible, market values of those assets.  If the Trustee resigns or is replaced, you are entitled as a beneficiary to a report on the activity of the now former Trustee.