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Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2012 by Peter Klenk

As of November 6, 2006, the Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act imposes a duty on trustees to inform trust current beneficiaries about the existence of a trust and the current beneficiaries’ rights to receive certain information on the trust. These notice requirements for Pennsylvania trustees are dependent on specific triggering events*. A current beneficiary is a person at least 18 years old to or for whom income or principal of a trust must be distributed currently or a person at least 25 years old to or for whom income or principal of a trust may, in the trustee’s discretion, be distributed currently.

See a chart of Required Notices Under § 7780

The notice by the trustee must include the following:

  1. Fact of the trust’s existence
  2. Identity of the settlor (the creator of the trust)
  3. Trustee’s name, address and telephone number
  4. Recipient’s right to receive upon request a copy of the trust instrument
  5. Current beneficiary’s right to receive, at least annually, upon request, periodic written financial reports concerning the trust.

*Below is a list of the events that trigger notification by the trustee and to whom and when the trustee must provide the notification:

If the death of the settlor of a revocable trust occurred after November 6, 2006, the trustee must notify current beneficiaries, executor of settlor’s estate, settlor’s spouse or, if the settlor’s spouse is incapacitated, the spouse’s guardian and settlor’s children who are at least 18 years old and the guardian, if any, of each child who is younger than 18 years old within 30 days of knowing of death.

If the death of the settlor of an irrevocable trust occurred after November 6, 2006, the trustee must notify current beneficiaries within 30 days of knowing of death or within 30 days of learning that a person who did not previously receive a notice is a current beneficiary if at the time the trustee knows that the settlor is then deceased. With a testamentary trust, the trustee must notify current beneficiaries within 30 days after the trust is first funded.

If the settlor of a revocable trust has been adjudicated incapacitated after November 6, 2006, the trustee must notify the settlor’s guardian within 30 days of knowing of adjudication.

If the settlor of an irrevocable trust has been adjudicated incapacitated after November 6, 2006, the trustee must notify current beneficiaries within 30 days of knowing of adjudication or within 30 days of learning that a person who did not previously receive a notice is a current beneficiary if at the time the trustee knows that the settlor has been adjudicated incapacitated.

If there is a change of trustee of a revocable trust, the trustee must notify the settlor in writing of the change. The notice need only state the trustee’s name, address and phone number.

If there is a change of trustee of an irrevocable trust, the trustee must notify current beneficiaries and the settlor in writing of the change. The notice need only state the trustee’s name, address and phone number.

If any beneficiary of a revocable trust reasonably requests information, no information is required to be given to them by the trustees.

If any beneficiary of an irrevocable trust reasonably requests information, the trustee must provide reasonable information promptly if settlor is deceased.

Note: Notice must be accomplished in a manner reasonably suitable under the circumstances and likely to result in receipt of the notice or document. Permissible methods of notice or for sending a document include first-class mail, personal delivery, delivery to the person’s last known place of residence or place of business and a properly directed electronic message.

– written by Rita Tulman

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