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Q&A Series: How Long Does a Trustee Have to Settle an Irrevocable Trust in Wisconsin?

I often respond to questions related to my firm's practice areas…wills, trusts, estate planning, business law, and real estate...on I feel that by participating in these forums I am providing a useful service to the public, and helping to bridge the gap between consumers who need civil legal advice but either cannot afford to pay for services or do not know where to begin to get their legal questions answered.

I decided to share some of my responses on my blog when I feel that they would be particularly useful to others who may have similar questions.

Below is a recent question that I responded to on Avvo:

Attorney Thomas B. Burton Response to Question About Wisconsin Trusts on Avvo

Full Text of Above Image:

Consumer Question:

How long does the trustee have to settle an irrevocable trust in WI?

My father died two years ago in July and his wife who is the trustee has yet to give me any yearly annual report or any details. His assets Prior to their marriage were supposed to be sold and split 50% between her and I. She hasn’t even given me a list or inventory of those items. My father received an inheritance from his parents, and my aunt said that money was not supposed to be split and given directly to me. What are my rights?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton Response:

If the trust is an irrevocable trust, then the term of the trust, and your rights as a beneficiary are likely dictated by the terms of the trust agreement. You should consult the trust agreement to see what it says about timing of distributions and administration of the trust. If you are indeed a beneficiary of the trust, you should try requesting (in writing) a copy of the trust instrument from the trustee (your father's wife).

The new Wisconsin Trust Code includes provisions requiring Trustees to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed. However, whether the new Trust Code applies depends on the date of when the trust was created and when it became irrevocable. See the following excerpt from an article on this topic below:

New statutory duties to inform qualified beneficiaries that a trustee has begun to act as trustee or that a trust has become irrevocable do not apply to a trusteeship that was accepted before July 1, 2014, to an irrevocable trust created before July 1, 2014, or to a revocable trust that becomes irrevocable before July 1. 2014. The trustee must prepare an accounting at least annually and send it to the current beneficiaries and any other qualified beneficiary who requests the accounting, but this requirement only applies to trusts that become irrevocable after June 30, 2014.

You may wish to send her a letter requesting a copy of the trust and/or consult with an attorney about your options. Take a look at Wis Stat. 701.0813

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. You should seek a consultation with a licensed attorney in your area if you seek a complete review and discussion of your situation.

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