Maybe it’s the heat but in the last two weeks it seems like I’ve gotten a steady stream of calls from people who are having trouble getting their trustee’s to make a distribution to them. More accurately, the can’t get their trustee to give them any part of their inheritance.
There are a number of reasons a trustee won’t make a distribution. Probably the most common reason is the trustee doesn’t understand the trust. Sometimes a trustee doesn’t make the distribution because they’re just plain lazy. Even though it’s their job, they still don’t make distributions even when the trust calls for those distributions.
Some trustees won’t make distributions because they’ve done something wrong and they’re hoping to cover it up by not making the distribution. The trustee may have mismanaged trust assets or, in some cases, wrongfully taken trust assets for themselves.
Every case is different, but the one piece of advice I give to every beneficiary who calls me saying they can’t get their inheritance is don’t wait, do something about it now! Have the trust reviewed by a trust litigation attorney. It’s unlikely but maybe you are asking for something you aren’t supposed to get from the trust. If the trustee is incompetent then they need to forced to act of they need to removed. If the trustee is crooked then you need to have your attorney get the distribution and a trust account so you can find out if you have gotten everything you are entitled too.