Bloodworth Law assists beneficiaries and qualified beneficiaries in obtaining trust accountings through court proceedings. Attorney Reed Bloodworth talks about trust accounting actions.
Usually, you begin to have questions about how a trust is being handled because you are in the dark and want to get to the bottom of what you feel is a problem.
What Are Trust Accounting Actions?
The legal process of hiring a lawyer to get the trustee to provide this information is known as an accounting action. A trust accounting action is the legal request from a lawyer through the courts asking for answers about a trust.
I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth, the managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Florida. We are based in Orlando, but we travel throughout the state for our clients’ trust cases in cities that include Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Palm Beach.
When it comes to a trust’s financial information, the type of action taken depends upon what you want to know and how deeply you want to review a trust or pursue legal action against a trustee.
Why Would You Worry About a Trust?
So, what are some common reasons for pursuing a trust accounting action?
Beneficiaries may feel that a trustee has:
—Stolen trust funds or assets
—Failed to keep proper records, or
—Abused their power in a way that effects the beneficiaries
As a beneficiary in these cases you may need an attorney to assist you:
- In getting In-depth accounting and reporting
- Appearing in court to compel an accounting action, or
- Contest or objections to the accounting
For example, you may only want to see the trusts’ bank statements. However, these are often provided to you in an informal accounting. This request may be a non-court ordered accounting action.
Beneficiaries Have Rights
But if you are a beneficiary, and you have not received an annual trust accounting, you have the right to demand a trust accounting from a trustee.
A formal accounting is a process required by Florida law and usually by the trust instrument itself. A formal trust accounting is required to include the following things:
- A statement identifying the trust;
- The name of the trustee providing the accounting;
- The time period covered by the accounting;
- It must show all the cash and property transactions;
- It must show the fees paid to the trustee and persons hired by the trustee;
- It must show the gains and losses realized during the accounting period;
- The accounting should identify and value each trust asset; and
- An accounting may require other items depending upon the size or type of the trust.
- When there are obstacles involved in a formal accounting you’ll need a trust litigation attorney to take legal action to obtain formal accounting and information.
Follow Your Gut
Even when you feel there’s a small dispute between a beneficiary and a trustee, follow your gut. If you think something is wrong it’s important to hire a trust litigation attorney to determine the depth of issues involved.
Again, I’m attorney Reed Bloodworth and I’ve handled hundreds of trust litigation cases since 2004. Give me a call and let’s talk about how Bloodworth Law can help you.