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I'm named as a beneficiary in my uncle's trust. I didn't really know him that will, but he put me in there anyway. He died a couple weeks ago and I was wondering how long the trustee, another uncle, will take before he distributes the money. I don't really want to ask him because it seems a little tacky. Thanks.

 
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Editor's Response

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but it depends.  In some cases, with a very simple trust with cash or easily liquidated assets and no taxes due, it might just take a couple of months.  However, in other cases, depending on the terms of the trust, the trust assets, and whether the trustee must file an estate tax return, it could take 9 months or even longer.  For example, if the trust owns commercial property that the trustee is instructed to sell before making distributions, that will take time, perhaps a lot of time.

 

I understand your concern about calling the trustee, but as a beneficiary you are entitled to a copy of the trust, and the process should, to the extent possible, be transparent.  I think if you wait a month or so before calling and then explain that you do not wish to rush the process but you are curious about the situation the Trustee should be willing to give you some information.  Also, in some cases, trustees can make distributions of property from the trust before completing the entire process of winding down the trust.  Hope that helps.  For more information or to post a question, visit our Massachusetts Estate Planning Discussion Forum.

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