I'm concerned that an irrevocable trust, of which I am a vested beneficiary BUT NOT trustee is fraudulent and/or part of a tax evasion scheme. I'm mostly interested in protecting myself since I will become a co-trustee upon the death of the current trustee and fear being held liable for the evasion I believe is taking place when I assume my fiduciary position. Do I have any good options in protecting myself? I'm considering filing a claim with the IRS re my suspicion of the current executor.
2 Answers from Attorneys
I suggest you obtain tax advice from an accountant who has experience in the area of irrevocable trusts re your concerns. Also, as to both designations in the trust,when the trust comes into play as a result of the death of the trustor, you could decline to accept the trustee designation and decline to accept the benfits of being a beneficiary of the assets of the trust to avoid any potential liability you believe would attach to you personally.
Yor really need to have a professional review the trust document and advise what the trust does. Irrevocable trusts are not automatically a tax avoidance device. And reporting something that may be a legitimate trust structure ito the IRS is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. Find out exactly what the trust does and what it is for first. Then you can make an educated decison.
I would suggest you contact an attorney who specializes in the area. Most estate specialists are familiar with the operative tax rules.