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Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410

Beneficiary Representation

Estate Planning
We understand that sometimes the death of a loved one can bring out the worst in his or her survivors, and as a result, beneficiaries can be affected. Beneficiary representation means you have an attorney or law firm as your advocate to protect your rights and interests as a beneficiary of a will, trust or other estate-planning situation. If you are named in a will or trust, contact Gevurtz Menashe to have our estate planning attorneys review your documentation to ensure your interests are protected. 

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Beneficiary Representation Attorneys

​As family law and estate planning attorneys, we are committed to helping clients understand and protect their interests in all family, trust and estate legal matters. Call us today at 503-227-1515 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

​What are Beneficiary Rights?

As a beneficiary, the law grants you certain rights, including the right to an accountant to receive specific information and notices about the trust or estate. Additional rights include the right to an annual statement that provides a full account of the year's financial activity, such as profits, expenses, and any losses from investment. The personal representative or trustee is obligated to provide you with this information, and failure to do so can be considered a breach of fiduciary duties. Our estate planning attorneys can advise on these rights, to get you the information you need. Additionally, we represent in legal action against a fiduciary who has mismanaged the trust or probate estate.

The need for beneficiary representation arises in probate disputes and cases where the administration and management of trust assets is contested. Beneficiary representation may also be necessary when the decedent’s beneficiary selection may have been the product of undue influence, coercion or fraud. If there is evidence that the decedent was not of sound mind when a questionable beneficiary was named, the others may find themselves harmed by a bad actor.

​Do I Need A Beneficiary Lawyer?

Beneficiary representation is especially advisable when a personal representative (under a will) or a trustee (under a trust) fails to properly administer assets or funds. It may be difficult to detect the impropriety. An experienced probate or trust lawyer can inspect how a trust has been managed to make sure that the beneficiaries receive their fair share of benefit. This investigation may involve hiring special accountants or other outside experts. When you receive your annual statements, be sure to inspect them thoroughly and ask questions if there have been any significant or questionable changes to any investment portfolios. It is prudent to question any significant losses that do not have a satisfactory accounting.

Although personal representatives (also known as executors) and trustees are fiduciaries who owe a duty of loyalty to beneficiaries, sometimes this duty of loyalty is violated. A beneficiary may also need a lawyer if the person feels they have a special claim to an item in a last will and testament. If these matters cannot be informally resolved among the beneficiaries, then it is appropriate to engage an attorney to help resolve the matter through mediation or court action.
 

We Can Help.

Gevurtz Menashe attorneys have significant experience with trust and estate disputes. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, call our Portland office at 503-227-1515, our Vancouver office at 360-823-0410, or schedule a consultation online.

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.