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Beneficiaries are entitled to a certain amount of information about the trust of which they are a beneficiary and trustees have a duty to disclose that information to them. However, trustees can sometimes be reluctant to disclose certain information about a trust or beneficiaries are unclear about what they are entitled to see.
Generally speaking, beneficiaries have a right to see trust documents which set out the terms of the trusts, the identity of the trustees and the assets within the trust as well as the trust deed, any deeds of appointment/retirement and trust accounts. Beneficiaries are generally not entitled to see any documents pertaining to the trustees’ decision-making process, such as minutes of any trustee meetings.
There may be occasions where beneficiaries have concerns about the way in which the trustees are dealing with the trust and want further information about the trust. Alternatively, trustees may be faced with requests for information from beneficiaries and are unclear about what they should or should not disclose for reasons of confidentiality or otherwise.
We have experience of advising on the disclosure of information about a trust from the perspectives of both a beneficiary seeking information and a trustee with concerns about what he should or should not disclose.
Advising beneficiaries on obtaining information on the way in which the trust had been administered, including the provisional trust accounts.
Advising executors on their duty to provide information to beneficiaries and how to progress the administration of the estate in the light of an unmerited claim for information from a beneficiary.