Does a Beneficiary Have a Say in How a Trust’s Assets are Managed?

The Trust document will describe how the Trust property is managed and eventually distributed.

The Trustee has the fiduciary obligation to administer the Trust as written, for the Grantor and the Beneficiaries. The Trustee may, by the terms of the Trust document, be granted discretion in Trust property distribution or retention.

Beneficiaries who are not named as Trustees are generally not granted any authority under the Trust, although it is not uncommon to see beneficiaries named as Trust Advisors (persons who can provide the Trustee with non-binding advice or suggestions on how discretionary matters are handled under the Trust).

Any or all of the Beneficiaries can seek court intervention should a Trustee not perform his or her duties as directed in the Trust, or if the Trustee engages in self-dealing or inappropriate action.

But, a Beneficiary should not and does not have any authority to dictate how the Trustee must act, so long as the Trustee is acting in accordance with the terms of the written trust document.

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