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Breach of trust?

Discussion in 'Power of Attorney & Living Wills' started by Elenagirl, Sep 24, 2019.

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  1. Elenagirl

    Elenagirl Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    New York
    I have a couple questions about this messy situation I’m in.
    I am 28 years old and I have a living irrevocable trust with age provisions that my dad set up for me when I was 2. I am the sole beneficiary. I haven’t really dug into the legal end of the trust until now. I have been able to take the income from the trust, around the same time every year, and occasionally bits of the principal if my trustee felt it necessary since I’ve been 21. About 5 years ago I asked the former trustee to provide me with the trust documents I believed to be legally entitled to. To my dismay he wrote me back explaining that I was not to see the documents and I could not obtain them because everything, for some reason, was confidential. I left it alone, thinking that it was true and I o we stepped my bounds by asking for them. I couple years ago my trustee got replaced with a new trustee. I then asked for the trust instrument once again thinking the answer might be different, now that I have a different trustee, he never answered me. A couple days ago I asked for the trust documents again so I could have them for my records. To my surprise, he granted me approval and sent them over.
    Upon reading my trust document I noticed that one of the paragraphs stated that at the time the beneficiary (me) turns 21, by written letter, I am entitled to any income made by the trust for that year and any portion of the principal I may wish to take out. I’m now wondering if legally I’m still allowed to collect on that, seeing as nobody explained any part of that to me, let alone any part of the trust as a whole, and nobody provided me with any kind of documentation or accounts of the trust. These past 8 years I have been under the impression that I had no way of seeing these official documents and that I wasn’t allowed anything unless the trustee said so.

    In addition; I also contacted my trustee a few days ago asking him to grant me a lump sum so I can pay my bills and put food on the table for my 3 kids. I have no income right now and neither does my husband. I can’t afford to buy a gallon of milk, my bank accounts are in the negatives and I would like to go back to school but lack of funds is preventing me from doing so. He denied my request for such a transfer, stating that he doesn’t think that I will use the money for my bills or towards putting food on the table for my family. I know that he talks to the grantor of the trustee on a regular basis and being as the grantor is mad at me, he told the trustee that I don’t use the money for said purpose and he’s under the impression that I’ll mismanage the funds given. I expressed to the trustee numerous times that I have been having financial problems and I’m going to lose my car and probably my house if I cannot come up with money.

    Is it legal for my trustee to treat me like I’m a child and deny me a distribution when Ive explain to him that I cannot collect any other form of financial assistance and the well being of my children is on the line, solely because he thinks, after talking to the grantor, I “mismanage” my money?
    And is it a breach of his fiduciary duty seeing as I didn’t know my rights as a beneficiary and even after asking for them to be given to me, multiple times, was denied?

    All this hardship could have been prevented if I knew about that clause when I was 21. I have been barely making it by and all I want is for my kids to be happy and healthy.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You need a REAL LAWYER in your county, not some jack all like me dispensing minimal information for free.


    I suggest you interview three or four and hire one, if things are ever going to change for you a lawyer will be required to make it happen.
     
  3. Elenagirl

    Elenagirl Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I would but I don’t have money for a real lawyer. As I just explained, the trustee isn’t approving anything. I just need guidance so I can take the next step and I would like to know if I’m in the right and who’s in the wrong.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The lawyer, if she takes your case, would arrange for payment via the trust.

    Its worth a try, after all, you've got nothing else (or so you say).
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you ask the trustee to make payments directly to your creditors?
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Is that exactly what it says, word for word, or are you paraphrasing, or are there conditions attached? Because if it says all that you could conceivably demand and receive ALL of the funds that are being held in trust.

    All the more reason to get a trust attorney who can agree to be paid when he successfully gets you your money.

    I'm guessing that the trustees are getting paid (with your money) to administer the trust and they don't want their meal ticket to end.

    You can start by asking the trustee to pay your bills direct but if that gets denied I suggest you start calling trust attorneys. You'll never know what the payment arrangements could be unless you call around and ask.
     

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