California trust beneficiary rights are a vital legal tool that empowers beneficiaries to protect their inheritance, preserve the integrity of the trust, and combat incompetent, negligent, or criminal trustees. Still, understanding if you need a beneficiary lawyer to represent you requires first understanding these rights. In other words, you must know the rules before you play the game. Explore our guide to beneficiary rights:
What Are My California Trust Beneficiary Rights?
Determining whether or not you need to work with a premier beneficiary rights lawyer requires understanding your rights.
“Only an expert beneficiary lawyer has the experience in probate and California trust beneficiary rights to interpret the complex legal language in the document, which dictates whether or not a trustee has violated these rights,” explained Abbas K. Gokal, a partner and practicing attorney at Gokal Law Group with 20 years of experience defending beneficiary rights in Orange County courts.
Let’s dive into your rights as a trust beneficiary in California to help you understand if you need to work with a beneficiary rights attorney:
The Right to Receive a Copy of the Trust
You have a right to get a copy of the trust with all current amendments. This document will be like your guiding star throughout the process. Read the document carefully to familiarize yourself with the details. We advise going over it with an expert beneficiary lawyer.
This document will outline the administration and distribution process. Still, trustees are only obligated to notify you they have become trustees. Beneficiaries often must request a copy of this document. Important information in the document usually includes:
- Assets held in the trust
- Real estate asset information
- Bank account information
- Information about any heirlooms
- Contact information for specific parties named in the trust
If a trustee refuses to give you a copy of this document, this is a severe red flag that warrants contacting a California trust beneficiary rights lawyer.
The Right to Receive Accountings and Information About the Trust
Generally speaking, California law states that beneficiaries have a right to information and accounting regarding the trust.
More specifically, beneficiaries have a right to information regarding all changes made to the trust promptly, and they have a right to know the plan to administer and distribute the estate.
California trust beneficiary rights also include a right to a trust accounting at least annually (or when beneficiaries make a formal request). An accounting is a detailed report of all transactions and liabilities a trust has experienced within a specific period.
Beneficiaries also have the right to a reasonable report of assets, liabilities, income, bank statements, receipts, and disbursements.
The Right to Enforce the Terms of the Trust
As a beneficiary, remember that the trustee must adhere to trust terms. If you know or suspect they are not abiding by trust terms, working with a California trust beneficiary rights lawyer is essential to ensuring you receive the distributions you are entitled to.
The trust document will dictate how distributions will work. Beneficiaries have a right to the timely distribution of payments as specified in the document. If a trustee does not adhere to trust terms, you can work with a beneficiary lawyer to enforce them.
The Right to Sue Trustees and Contest the Trust
Lastly, but most importantly, you have the right to combat invalid trusts or negligent, incapable, or underhanded trustees for breaching their fiduciary duty.
If you suspect trust terms may not be legitimate or legal, beneficiaries have the right to work with a beneficiary attorney to contest the trust in court. On top of that, trustees have a legal obligation to fulfill their fiduciary duties.
If a trustee fails to fulfill these duties, beneficiaries have the right to work with a California trust beneficiary rights lawyer to pursue legal action against them.
Has a Trustee Violated Your California Trust Beneficiary Rights? Work With a Premier Beneficiary Lawyer to Receive Justice
Beneficiaries have rights that protect and empower them during the trust administration process. Still, to understand if your rights have been violated and leverage them, you must understand what your rights are and what the trust outlines. At Gokal Law Group, we are the premier California trust beneficiary rights attorneys.
Our team boasts unmatched expertise and experience representing beneficiaries, interpreting trust documents, and empowering them to demand and receive justice. To protect your rights, call us at (949) 753-9100 or contact us. Trust us to guard your trust.