Who has Duty to Give Trustee Copy of Trust Amendment?
I am co-trustee of a revocable trust with my elderly mother, the grantor trustee. I have been actively managing the trust. She recently made an amendment to the trust independently with her attorney regarding beneficiary distributions. As co-trustee, am I legally entitled to receive a copy of this directly from her attorney, or does she – as grantor trustee – bear the responsibility of giving me the updated trust terms? Or, is it my responsibility to request a copy? In short, who is responsible for updating me, the co-trustee, about these new trust terms?
First, as trustee you definitely are entitled to receive a copy of any trust amendment. Depending on what the amendment says, you may not be able to carry out your duties as trustee without it, and you have no way of knowing if this is the case without reading it.
That said, the question of who has a duty to pass it on to you is a bit more murky. Technically, it’s probably your mother. But the attorney is your mother’s agent and should be expected to relay the amendment to you unless your mother specifically directed that he not do so. In that case, you might want to consider threatening to resign, since you can’t very well serve as trustee without a complete copy of the trust.