Know Your RightsThis is the next post in our series on the rights of heirs in a Connecticut trust dispute. Our last post provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you are having issues with an estate. It is important that you speak with counsel as soon as possible to prevent damage from being done. Waiting to contact counsel, conversely, can lead to a trust’s assets being squandered or misappropriated. In this article we will discuss the rights of heirs as a general matter. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with a Hartford trust dispute lawyer.

Heirs to a Connecticut trust have the right to information, disbursements, and enforcement of a trust’s terms

One must first understand the background of a trust to understand the legal rights of the heirs. A trust is a legal instrument in which an individual, known as a grantor, transfers property into the trust. An individual, known as the trustee, will manage the property. A trust can be created by the grantor during their lifetime or following the grantor’s death through a provision in their will. If the trust is created during the grantor’s lifetime, then they will often also serve as the trustee while still alive. A successor trustee, who is designated within the instrument, will take over as trustee upon the death of the grantor/original trustee. The laws surrounding the administration, execution, and termination of the trust are governed by the laws of Connecticut. The trustee is responsible for administering the trust according to the terms and conditions outlined in the trust document. It is important to understand that a trustee has a fiduciary duty to the heirs such as the requirement to act in the best interests of the heirs, preserve the trust assets, and to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

If you are involved in a trust dispute, then you are entitled to certain legal rights as an heir or beneficiary in Connecticut. First, heirs have the right to receive information about the trust, its assets and the administration of the trust. This legal right entitles heirs to receive a copy of the trust, accountings, and any updates on the assets and investments for the trust. Next, heirs have the right to receive distributions from the trust as outlined in the trust document. The trustee must follow the language in the trust document and must make distributions accordingly.

Third, an heir has the right to enforce the trust. This means that the heir can take legal action against the trustee if they fail to comply with the terms of the trust or mismanage the trust. An example of this would include a successor trustee who does not distribute property to the heirs in a way that is consistent with the trust’s terms. Remedies for such an infringement can include a forced distribution from the trust and possibly the removal of the trustee. The remedies available in any given situation will always depend on the specific facts of the case.

Retain a Hartford Probate Attorney if you are engaged in trust dispute

If you are a Connecticut trust beneficiary and want to understand what your rights are then contact us online or by telephone. Our Hartford probate lawyers have been serving the area for decades and we take pride in the level of service which we offer. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.