• Are You a Trustee?
  • July 1, 2008
  • Law Firm: Pepper Hamilton LLP - Office
  • If you are presently serving as a trustee, you should know that Pennsylvania’s Uniform Trust Act requires the trustee in certain circumstances to send notice of the trust to various persons. In many cases, the deadline for sending the notice is November 8, 2008. When and to whom notice must be sent depends on a number of circumstances.

    Revocable Trusts

    • so long as a trust is revocable, no notices are sent to any beneficiary.

    When Must Notice Be Sent in Irrevocable Trusts

    • notice is not required as long as the settlor of the trust (i.e. person who created the trust) is alive and has not been adjudicated incapacitated by a court
    • notice must be sent within 30 days of the settlor’s death or adjudication of incapacity by a court
    • notice must be sent whenever there is a change of trustee after settlor’s death or adjudication of incapacity by a court.

    If the settlor’s death or adjudication of incapacity occurs after November 5, 2006, notice must be sent within 30 days of the event. If the settlor’s death or incapacity occurred before November 6, 2006, notice must be sent before November 6, 2008.

    Who Gets Notice

    • if the settlor of a revocable trust is adjudicated incapacitated, notice must be sent to the settlor’s guardian appointed by the court
    • if the settlor of a revocable trust dies, notice must be sent to the settlor’s personal representative, the settlor’s spouse, the settlor’s children and the current beneficiaries of the trust
    • if the settlor of an irrevocable trust is now dead or has been adjudicated incapacitated, notice must be sent to the current beneficiaries of the trust by November 6, 2008
    • if the settlor of an irrevocable trust is adjudicated incapacitated or dies after November 5, 2006, notice must be sent to the current beneficiaries of the trust within 30 days of the event.

    The statute defines “current beneficiaries” as any person 18 years of age or older to or for whom income or principal must be distributed currently and any person 25 years of age or older to or for whom income or principal may, in the trustee’s discretion, be distributed currently.

    What the Notice Must Say

    All notices must be in writing and contain the following information:

    • the fact of the trust’s existence
    • the identity of the settlor
    • the trustee’s name, address and telephone number
    • the recipient’s right to receive a copy of the trust instrument
    • the recipient’s right to receive, at least annually, upon request, periodic written financial reports concerning the trust.

    This is a new requirement for Pennsylvania trustees. If you are serving with a corporate or individual co-trustee, you should take steps to ensure that the notice will be sent when required and to the proper parties.