Question: Are you thinking about creating a trust as part of your estate plan? If so, you should know your rights and obligations under the "New" Washington Trust law.
Answer: Beginning January 1, 2012, Washington law requires a trustee of an irrevocable trust, or a revocable trust that becomes irrevocable after December 31, 2011, to provide notice of the existence of the trust to all interested persons within sixty (60) days after the date of acceptance of the position of trustee. A trustee's failure to provide this notice may result in a lawsuit for breach of trust.
Additionally, the new law prevents a beneficiary from bringing a lawsuit against a trustee more than three years after the date the beneficiary was sent a report that adequately disclosed the existence of a potential claim for breach of trust and informed the beneficiary of the time allowed for commencing a proceeding. In other words, it would be wise for a trustee to send an annual report to each beneficiary concerning the administration and financial status of the trust, and for each beneficiary to carefully examine each report.
With all the recent changes, be sure to consult an estate planning attorney before attempting to navigate the murky Washington trust law waters on your own.As originally printed in the Journal of Business - Spokane, in March 2012. David Webster
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