In New York, trust beneficiaries have a right to receive information about the trust and its finances. Trustees are legally obligated to provide transparency and ensure that beneficiaries receive their due distributions. Unfortunately, some trustees refuse to fulfill these obligations, leaving beneficiaries in the dark about their entitlements. This article will discuss the options available to trust beneficiaries under the New York Surrogate's Court Procedure Act (SCPA) and the Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law (EPTL) when faced with uncooperative trustees.
SCPA 2103 proceedings provide a powerful mechanism for executors and administrators to discover information and recover estate assets. Unfortunately, this provision of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act is also notorious for being susceptible to abuse, with some parties using it as a means to carry out "fishing expeditions" without a legitimate legal basis. In this article, we will explore the abuse of SCPA 2103 proceedings in New York, the challenges it poses, and the measures being taken to curb such abuse.
In a case involving a small estate with assets that are easy to liquidate and beneficiaries that get along, probate can be an inconvenient process but relatively painless. When an estate plan is more complex, assets that are harder to liquidate and the beneficiaries are at each other's throats, probate can the legal and financial equivalent to root canal without anesthetic—only worse, since it can go on for years. If you're asking yourself, why is probate so painful? Well, let me provide a general overview of the process and you can decide for yourself if it's something you want your loved ones to go through after you leave this Earth. If you want to avoid probate, there many strategy that can be used to eliminate probate entirely or, at least, minimize the pain associated with probate.