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Why would a trustee not make a distribution?

When a family sets up a trust for their children or grandchildren, they include terms for distribution of assets. A trustee is a person who in charge of the trust and the distribution of assets. But, there are times when a trustee does not make a distribution according to the terms of the trust.

There are a number of reasons why a trustee will not make a distribution to the heirs and beneficiaries. Many times, it is because the trustee does not understand the terms of the trust. They may recall a conversation they had with the trust's creator in which they remember something different than what the trust says. Or, a trustee just doesn't take the time to learn about the trust, their duties, and making the distribution. Another reason they are not distributing assets would be that the trustee is misusing the trust's funds and is trying to cover up their actions. They may be taking trust assets for their own use.

If a person finds themselves in a situation where they are not receiving distributions from a trust, they may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in probate litigation. An attorney can investigate the situation their client presents to them and figure out what is going on. These are often complicated matters that require experience. An attorney understands the implications of a trust dispute and will work with both parties to make sure a fair resolution is met.

A trust is a special estate planning tool that families use to ensure their family's assets are passed to the next generation on their terms. When a trustee does not do the job they are entrusted to do, it can lead to a probate dispute.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Reasons to Remove a Trustee From Your Trust," accessed March 5, 2018

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