Does A Trustee Have to Send Notice of Trust Administration to Trust Beneficiaries

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Trust Attorney

The short answer is no. Notice is not required. The only times notice is required is when a trustee is resigning, the administration of the trust is being transferred to another jurisdiction, the trustee delegates duties, or the trust will be terminated of when there is less than $100,000 in assets and the costs of administration outweigh the value in the trust.

If the trust is revocable at the time of settlor’s death, and a notice and copy of the trust existence is sent to beneficiaries, it sets in motion the statute of limitations wherein a beneficiary would have to challenge the trust or lose his or her right to contest all or a portion of the trust. Normally, the statute of limitations to challenge a trust is 3 years following the settlor’s death. By sending notice and a copy of the trust, it shortens the statute of limitations to four months for if a resident beneficiary and six months for a non-resident beneficiary (the same time period as challenging wills). The foregoing decisions applies to revocable trusts, however. So if a trust is revocable, it would be a strategic idea to send out notice and a copy to shorten the statute of limitations.

To discuss your NJ Trust matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.