Trustees Obligation To Inform Beneficiaries: Avoiding Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

Webinar: ID# 1026212
Recorded CD or On-Demand
About This Course:
This CLE webinar will provide estate planning counsel and advisers with a thorough and practical guide to navigating trustees’ duties to inform beneficiaries and report trust existence and performance. The panel will address the key obligations that advisers to fiduciaries need to grasp and meet to avoid liability and defend against beneficiary claims.

A critical obligation for trustees of irrevocable trusts is the duty to inform beneficiaries of the trust’s existence and activities. Trustees often find themselves facing beneficiary claims of breach of fiduciary duty for failure to comply with these responsibilities. And, compliance is frequently complicated by inconsistencies between the trust document and the applicable state law. Fiduciaries and their advisers can avoid liability by thoroughly understanding the key components of a trustee’s duty to inform.

While there is no uniform standard governing trustees’ duty to inform, virtually every state imposes a fiduciary duty on trustees to provide certain information to trust beneficiaries. Most states require trustees to provide regular trust accountings to some or all current beneficiaries. Additionally, states have long recognized the right of beneficiaries to receive information on request.

Many states’ trust statutes will not relieve the trustee of the duty to inform, except in very limited circumstances. Because of variances in the scope of the duty to inform among the states in defining the duty to inform, advisers to fiduciaries, especially non-professional trustees, should have a solid grasp of these fiduciary duties to avoid unexpected liability.

Listen as our panel of authoritative presenters provides estate planning and trust counsel with practical guidance for understanding and complying with trustees’ duties to provide information to beneficiaries, report trust existence and performance, and meet key obligations to avoid liability and defend against beneficiary claims.

Course Outline
  • The Trustee's Duty to Inform and the Beneficiary's Right to Information
    • At Common Law
    • Under the Uniform Trust Code
  • The Trustee's Duty to Account and Responding to Requests for Accountings
  • Silent or Quiet Trusts
    • Silencing a Noisy Trust
    • Creating a Silent Trust from Scratch
  • Avoiding Claims for Breach of the Fiduciary Duty to Inform

The panel will review these and other key issues:
  • What disclosures are trustees almost always required to make to beneficiaries?
  • What are the Uniform Trust Code (UTC) provisions for required disclosures?
  • What trust document provisions limiting a trustee’s duty to disclose and report will be honored under most state laws? Under the UTC?
  • When can a trustee utilize non-mandatory disclosures to further protect against breach of fiduciary duty claims for failure to report?
How To Access Course And Materials

Handout materials and the phone number for live presentations are made available to you one day prior to the event via email from the presenter. Copies of the presentations are included with recorded versions.

If you order a recorded version of the webinar, CDs will be mailed out approximately 10 days after the live event. Shipping is included in the price of recorded versions.

Continuing Education Credits Available

This program has been approved for 2.0 CPE hours through Strafford Publications. To obtain CPE credit, attendees must participate in the live event (recorded versions do not qualify for credit), return an Official Record of Attendance to Strafford affirming their participation (including the CPE code announced during the program), and pay a processing fee of $35 per person.

Strafford will mail a certificate of credit within approximately two weeks of receiving your completed Official Record of Attendance, provided all required conditions have been satisfied.

Strafford is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.
Trustees Obligation To Inform Beneficiaries: Avoiding Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims
Available on CD or On-Demand formats
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