How long can a trust fund withhold my distribution if one or more of the beneficiaries don’t return their method of distribution forms?

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How long can a trust fund withhold my distribution if one or more of the beneficiaries don’t return their method of distribution forms?

My childless great aunt created a generation-skipping trust for her great nieces and nephews 20 years ago. The time for distribution has come and gone, and the trustees are saying that they won’t disburse the funds until all beneficiaries have returned their forms specifying method of distribution (direct deposit, check, etc.). Some beneficiaries now are getting up in age, and some may be unreachable. How long can they withhold funds from the rest of us?

Asked on February 11, 2012 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From the situation that you have writtem about, the trustee of the trust at issue can continue to withhold any and all distributions of assets under the trust until all the requested distribution forms are returned by all designated beneficiaries.

One way to have the impasse broken is for the trustee to file a petition with the court seeking an order for distribution of the trust's assets to those who have returned their method of distribution forms.


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