Trusts are an important part of an estate planning process, and can save a grantor and his beneficiaries valuable time and money. When the grantor of an estate dies, the responsibility of managing the trust and distributing funds to beneficiaries falls to the estate trustee. Part of this management includes the issuance of trust statements.
A trust is a legal instrument used for estate planning purposes, specifically the management and allocation of estate assets. Estate assets may include physical assets like the grantors home, automobile, or jewelry, as well as financial assets like stocks and bonds. The grantor, or person who establishes the trust, determines when and how his assets are to be handled upon death. Most states allow revocable trusts, which means that the trust can be altered during the grantors lifetime.
Depending on the state where the trust is established, the grantor may be able to act as the trustee during his lifetime. In most cases, however, a trust company manages the trust, like a commercial bank, which is responsible for the fiduciary management of the trust. The actual trustee may be any person designated by the grantor, however it is often an attorney or financial manager. During the grantors lifetime, the trustee's primary duty is the management of the trust and its investments.
Once the grantor of a trust passes away, the trustee becomes the primary overseer of the trust. As such, the trustee must ensure that the trusts assets allocate to the appropriate beneficiaries, which includes inheritors informed of any trust receipts and distributions via trust statements. Trust statements must go out at a minimum of once a year, although monthly or quarterly requests are applicable per the stipulations of the trust.
Trusts are often an attractive estate planning tool for those who want to ensure the appropriate management and distribution of their estate assets, while avoiding the lengthy legal proceedings of probate court. If you are the inheritor of a trust and believe that you are entitled to a trust statement, you should contact the funds trustee.