• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Trust question

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

Krinkov58

Member
I am the beneficiary of a trust set up by my late father...I am the only living beneficiary, although upon my death any money remaining will revert to Yale University. After my father's estate was settled by the bank in Massachusetts that is acting as a trustee and the trust was funded by his assets, the trust's market value was approximately $1.7M in 2007. It was set up to disburse funds to me once a month, and if I needed more I would just call the trust manager and tell him what I needed, provide receipts, etc. The trust manager always got back to me in a timely fashion and I never had a problem with anybody at that particular branch in Massachusetts. After a few years the trust manager in charge of the account retired, and the management of the trust was moved to a bank branch in Western MA, closer to where I was living. And it was the same situation; I never had a problem with anybody there, they kept me informed as to investments made, and always returned my calls or emails (I might have contacted them half a dozen times a year at most, though). In late 2014, I moved to Maine...at this point, the trust's market value had climbed to $2.2M. In early 2015, I was informed that everybody who had previously been involved with the trust no longer worked for this particular bank and that the trust had moved again, this time to a branch in NH.

At this point, everything changed...any disbursement I requested now had to go before a trust committee. Emails were not always acknowledged anymore. The market value of the trust kept going down and down, although previously it had increased in almost every single quarterly statement I was sent. The Christmas cards I would get from this bank ceased (I also had personal money in a checking account as well as a business checking account plus a business loan and a mortgage with this bank, aside from a whole lot of my family's money tied up in the trust they managed) and the overall tone of the communications from the bank were dismissive at best...and they begun denying requests that previously had been approved without hesitation. Again, they only hear from me a few times a year. The trust committee only meets twice a month now and they have recently further restricted requests to one per meeting. And according to my last quarterly statement, the trust has climbed back to $2.1M, not even as much as it was when management of the trust was moved to the NH branch...so in 5 years, it has not made any gains whatsoever whereas prior to that move it ALWAYS increased in value quarterly.

So, I'm thinking about asking the bank to move control of the trust back to a branch in Massachusetts...am I within my rights (if any) to make such a request? Is this an odd situation or is this normal?
 


FlyingRon

Senior Member
Possibly, but a lot would depend on just what the wording the trust document says. I'd take everything to an attorney for a read. Often a letter from an attorney will attract more attention at a bank than a gripe from someone who isn't even (in their eyes) a customer.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
someone who isn't even (in their eyes) a customer.
How is OP not a customer?

2 + million dollar trust account and "I also had personal money in a checking account as well as a business checking account plus a business loan and a mortgage with this bank."

;)
 

Krinkov58

Member
I'm debating on whether to ask for a copy of the trust or not...since the management of the trust moved to NH I've gotten a very strong impression from the bank that they would be delighted to cut me off from the trust and I'm really hesitant to do anything provocative. I mean honestly I feel as if the trust manager has something against me personally, based on the tone of his emails.

I'm definitely a customer...again, I have a mortgage and business loan that are active as well as business checking and personal checking accounts. They make plenty of money off of me. For years the bank and I had a great relationship but since the trust moved to this one branch and became managed by one particular person, they have been further and further restricting my access to the trust as well as not growing the trust at the rate it had grown prior to 2015. The economy hasn't exactly been terrible since 2016...it should at least have made $1.00 since then.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
How is OP not a customer?
As far as the Trust department is concerned, he's NOT their customer. He's just a liability that they have to pay out money to.
But don't get your underwear in a twist, that's an entirely irrelevant point.

How they deal with their responsibilities is based on the trust document not the desires of one of the beneficiaries. There seems to be some reason dad put the power in the hands of a neutral party rather than his son. Again, an attorney can look at whether they are properly meeting their responsibilities. Moving the trust to a branch that is closer to a beneficiary, is not likely to be something they're obliged to do.
 

Krinkov58

Member
My father wisely put the money in a trust because at the time it was written years ago, I was a touring musician in my 20's (I'm 45 now) without much in the way of life skills who had lost all other family members tragically early. There wasn't anybody left when he passed to keep an eye on me. That's kind of irrelevant anyways.
There's two things going on here...first, the bank has made deliberate steps to curtail access to the trust since moving it's administration to NH. Whether this was a scheduled step outlined in the trust or not, I cannot say for sure but I doubt it. Second, since the move to NH the trust has lost money. Some quarters it has lost a LOT of money, and not through any disbursements to me! I'm not at all interested in having the trust moved to a branch closer to me...the opposite is true...I would like to see it moved back to one the Massachusetts branches where it had experienced significant growth and with whose personnel I have a better working relationship.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
My first advice still holds. The lawyer can tell what the responsibility of the trustee is and tell them what they should do and why (legally).
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
I'm debating on whether to ask for a copy of the trust or not
Can't imagine why you weren't given a copy by your father a long time ago. At any rate, as beneficiary, you are legally entitled to a copy of the trust document. I'm sure if you check the trust statutes of MA and NH you'll find that and you can quote the law when you demand a copy.

If you still get stonewalled, you'll need a trust lawyer. For $2,000,000 at stake you should have one handling this for you anyway.
 

Krinkov58

Member
Honestly I never asked my father about any of that stuff, nor did I ever ask the bank for a copy of the trust. I realize that was a mistake on my part, along with not really paying attention to what the bank was doing. They could have parked the $2.2M in one of their own high-interest accounts for the last 5 years and it would have grown by a couple of hundred thousand, even with the small disbursements made to me monthly.

I'm going to ask for a copy of the trust, just to make sure there are no provisions indicating growth should be attenuated at a certain level or that access should be restricted after a certain date, etc.

Also...I'm looking at last quarter's statement, and under "Disbursements", the bank has taken out $4071.03 out of principle cash and $4071.08 out of income cash in fees, and made "miscellaneous disbursements" of $6596.25 out of principle cash and $0.75 out of income cash last quarter. This is more than was disbursed to me as the beneficiary. Is that normal?
 
Last edited:

LdiJ

Senior Member
Honestly I never asked my father about any of that stuff, nor did I ever ask the bank for a copy of the trust. I realize that was a mistake on my part, along with not really paying attention to what the bank was doing. They could have parked the $2.2M in one of their own high-interest accounts for the last 5 years and it would have grown by a couple of hundred thousand, even with the small disbursements made to me monthly.

I'm going to ask for a copy of the trust, just to make sure there are no provisions indicating growth should be attenuated at a certain level or that access should be restricted after a certain date, etc.

Also...I'm looking at last quarter's statement, and under "Disbursements", the bank has taken out $4071.03 out of principle cash and $4071.08 out of income cash in fees, and made "miscellaneous disbursements" of $6596.25 out of principle cash and $0.75 out of income cash last quarter. This is more than was disbursed to me as the beneficiary. Is that normal?
How much was disbursed to you?
 

Krinkov58

Member
"Payments To Or For Beneficiaries" was $14,512.19 to me

About $200 less than the other disbursements.

Even giving the benefit of the doubt on the "Miscellaneous Disbursements" perhaps being a tax payment out or something of that nature, they're charging $2700 a month with no growth happening for half a decade
 

Krinkov58

Member
Perhaps I should ask for more. But I have the feeling it would be denied. Just today I got an email from the trust manager indicating that a request had been approved, but the trust committee feels that it's an expense that I should be able to cover with the monthly stipend disbursed to me from the trust and does not expect me to submit such requests again...the expense in question is for heating oil and while it was only a few hundred dollars, it represents over 10% of my monthly stipend. The trust has always covered this expense over the years if I submitted it...but now has decided that it will not.

The whole reason this is even an issue is that recently I suffered an extreme financial setback and am actually reliant on the trust at this point in my life.
 

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential
data-ad-format="auto">
Top