The Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC is dedicated to protecting the rights of beneficiaries throughout the state of Texas. When these rights are violated by executors and trustees who fail to understand their obligations or who engage in misconduct, beneficiaries have a right to take legal action. If you believe your beneficiary rights have been violated, you need the informed representation we provide.
Well-versed in the applicable trust and estate laws, our beneficiary rights lawyers have a proven history of achieving successful outcomes in estate litigation and mediation. Although we prefer to resolve beneficiary rights disputes at the bargaining table, our trial lawyers are comfortable in the courtroom. When you become our client, we will always put your best interests first and work tirelessly to protect your beneficiary rights. Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
What are the Rights of an Estate Beneficiary in Texas
The beneficiary of an estate not only has a right to the inheritance or assets intended for him or her, but a number of other rights as well. In particular, a beneficiary has the right to be informed by the executor (or estate administrator) above matters relevant to the estate, such as:
- The amount of assets held by the estate
- The amount of debt owed by the estate
- Which assets are being used to settle the debt
- The status of the probate proceedings
In short, a beneficiary has a right to know the approximate amount of his or her inheritance; however, a beneficiary does not have the right to receive the inheritance until after the will is probated.
In addition, the beneficiary to an estate has the right to expect the executor to exercise reasonable diligence in administering the estate. This means that the executor must distribute the estate assets within a reasonable time frame, which generally falls between 1 and 3 years, depending on the size of the estate.
If there has been no distribution after a significant amount of time has passed, the beneficiary has a right to file a request for accounting with the court. Finally, a beneficiary that suspects the executor is not performing his or her duties has a right to petition the court to replace the executor.
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC, we regularly represent trust and estate beneficiaries and have the skills and resources to protect your beneficiary rights. When you consult with us, we will take the time to explain all your rights and help you receive the inheritance that was intended for you.
What are the Rights Regardin A Trust in Texas?
In Texas, the rights of beneficiaries are governed by the state’s probate code and the terms of the trust. In this regard, there are two classes of beneficiaries, current beneficiaries and remainder beneficiaries.
As the names imply, current beneficiaries are currently entitled to income from the trust, while remainder beneficiaries only have an interest in the trust after the current beneficiaries’ interest has terminated. For example, a spouse can establish a trust that leaves lifetime income to a surviving spouse. Upon that spouse’s death, the remainder of any trust assets are transferred to the children — the remainder beneficiaries.
In short, current and remainder beneficiaries have different and, at times, overlapping rights, such as:
- Payment — Current beneficiaries have the right to distributions of income according to the terms of the trust
- Right to information — Both current and remainder beneficiaries have the right to be informed about the trust property, how the trust is being administered, and how to enforce their rights
- Right to an accounting — Current beneficiaries are entitled to an annual accounting from the trustee detailing all income, distributions, and expenses
- Trustee removal — Both current and remainder beneficiaries have the right petition the court to remove the trustee if they suspect the trustee is not acting ethically
- Terminate or modify the trust— Depending on the circumstances, current and remainder beneficiaries can ask the court to modify or to terminate the trust, typically when the terms of the trust have been, or cannot be, fulfilled
Given the complexities in administering a trust, the best way to protect your beneficiary rights is to work with an experienced trusts and estates lawyer.
Contact Our Experienced Texas Beneficiary Rights Attorneys
The Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC has a well-deserved reputation for providing trust and estate beneficiaries with informed representation and dependable service. We are keenly aware that disputes involving beneficiaries and executors or trustees can be overwhelming, which is why we offer each client knowledge, compassion and superior personal service.
If you have concerns about your beneficiary rights, we can help. Our trust and estate litigation lawyers have the skills and experience to enforce your beneficiary rights, whether through arbitration, mediation, or litigation. Please contact our office today for a free consultation.