I live in California. I am a 50/50 beneficiary of a trust that has now become irrevocable with the passing of my father close to 4 months ago. My brother is the successor trustee and the other beneficiary. There are two standard bank accounts that are part of the assets that are to be distributed along with a house. We have a bad relationship. He is difficult to deal with and not communicating great. My question is if I send him an email requesting the balances of both of the accounts is he required to give me that information within 60 days? It is confusing to me because there is nothing in the trust that says he does not have to or does have to and I am aware of the requirement of him reporting the accounting “at least” annually or when the trust is concluded. But, does that mean if he decides to not send me these balances of the bank accounts in 60 days after my request and sends them within one year of my father’s passing he is fulfilling his requirement and fiduciary duties?
1 Answer from Attorneys
There are a number of things a successor Trustee must do following the death of the Settlor. He should have sent you a Notice under Probate Code 16061.5 including copies of the Trust; a TAX ID# should have been obtained, etc.... As for giving you information about the bank balances, Probate Code 16061 does require a Trustee to furnish a beneficiary with information relevant to that beneficiary's interest, which the bank balances clearly are. He may also be required to provide an annual accounting or an accounting prior to final distribution. Failure to do these things could be grounds for suspension or removal, which requires a Petition to the Superior Court in the County where your brother resides.