Trustee Duty to Inform & Report

Who has a right to obtain provisions or copies of a trust? 

Arizona's Trust Code imposes very specific requirements upon trustees as to who has the right to obtain copies or provisions of trusts governed by Arizona law. In particular, A.R.S. § 14-10813 sets forth the following:

A. Unless the trust instrument provides otherwise, a trustee shall keep the qualified beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed about the administration of the trust and of the material facts necessary for them to protect their interests. Unless the trustee determines that it is unreasonable under the circumstances to do so, a trustee shall promptly respond to a beneficiary's request for information related to the administration of the trust.

B. A trustee:

1. On request of a beneficiary, shall promptly furnish to the beneficiary a copy of the portions of the trust instrument that are necessary to describe the beneficiary's interest.

2. Within sixty days after accepting a trusteeship, shall notify the qualified beneficiaries of the acceptance and of the trustee's name, address and telephone number.

3. Within sixty days after the date the trustee acquires knowledge of the creation of an irrevocable trust or the date the trustee acquires knowledge that a formerly revocable trust has become irrevocable, whether by the death of the settlor or otherwise, shall notify the qualified beneficiaries of the trust's existence, of the identity of the settlor or settlors, of the trustee's name, address and telephone number, of the right to request a copy of the relevant portions of the trust instrument and of the right to a trustee's report as provided in subsection C.

4. Shall notify the qualified beneficiaries at least thirty days in advance of any change in the method or rate of the trustee's compensation.

C. A trustee shall send to the distributees or permissible distributees of trust income or principal and to other beneficiaries who request it, at least annually and at the termination of the trust, a report of the trust property, liabilities, receipts and disbursements, including the source and amount of the trustee's compensation, a listing of the trust assets and, if feasible, their respective market values. On a vacancy in a trusteeship, unless a cotrustee remains in office, a report must be sent to the qualified beneficiaries by the former trustee. A personal representative, conservator or guardian may send the qualified beneficiaries a report on behalf of a deceased or incapacitated trustee.

D. A beneficiary may waive the right to a trustee's report or other information otherwise required to be furnished under this section. A beneficiary, with respect to future reports and other information, may withdraw a waiver previously given.

E. Subsection B, paragraphs 2 and 3 apply only to a trustee who accepts a trusteeship on or after January 1, 2009, to an irrevocable trust created on or after January 1, 2009 and to a revocable trust that becomes irrevocable on or after January 1, 2009.

Although each part of the statute is important, perhaps subpart (b)(3) is of particular interest during the administration of a trust following the death of a trust settlor because it requires that "Within sixty days after the date the trustee acquires knowledge of the creation of an irrevocable trust or the date the trustee acquires knowledge that a formerly revocable trust has become irrevocable, whether by the death of the settlor or otherwise, shall notify the qualified beneficiaries of the trust's existence, of the identity of the settlor or settlors, of the trustee's name, address and telephone number, of the right to request a copy of the relevant portions of the trust instrument and of the right to a trustee's report as provided in subsection C." 

This brief overview of some important considerations associated with Arizona trusts is by no means comprehensive. Always seek the advice of a competent professional when making important legal decisions.

Arizona Trust AttorneyDouglas K. Cook is an Arizona trust attorney with over 40 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Although Cook & Cook's office is located in Mesa, Arizona, the attorneys at Cook & Cook represent clients throughout the Phoenix, Arizona Metropolitan area including the following east valley cities: Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tempe, Chandler, & Gilbert.

Contact Us

If you are a current client of this firm, please do not send confidential or otherwise sensitive information via this site. Further, if you are not an existing client of this firm, unsolicited emails containing confidential or sensitive information cannot be protected from disclosure as no attorney-client relationship exists.