As Trustee do I have any legal responsibility for what a beneficiary does

by Dennis S

I am the Trustee of my late mothers Trust. My brother is a beneficiary of the Trust, He is a homeless drunk that refuses to get help. He keeps calling me and asking for money. I have $10,000 that he is entitled to, but I know if I give him that money he will check into a cheap hotel and go on a 6 month drunk until the money is gone. I am tired of the phone calls and just want to give him the money so he leaves me alone. Can he sue me later claiming I gave him the money knowing he is not of sound mind?

Comments for As Trustee do I have any legal responsibility for what a beneficiary does

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Jun 27, 2011
Trustee Responsibility for Beneficiary
by: Mo Johnson

The issue is not so much your responsibility to your brother, but rather your responsibility to handle the trust assets reasonably and responsibly. However, it's hard to imagine your brother later suing you for giving him money and him wasting it.

Of course, this is America and anyone can sue anyone. So, before sending him any money, I'd have him sign a notarized document explaining exactly what he is doing and that he is aware the money may be wasted, but he still wishes to receive it. Something like that should protect you.

Of course, as always, I can't give you legal advice. And, the trust may say something that would change what I've said above. So, you should have a local attorney review the trust and advise you.

All the best.

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