Just Say No to Overbroad Trust and Estate Waivers: Part II

By Reynolds Cafferata and Catherine Anne Karayan

Step-by-Step Protecting Your Rights

Beneficiaries can protect themselves from overbroad waiver with the following steps:

  1. Review the information provided by the fiduciary to see if there is any reason for concern
  2. Review waivers and edit forms so that they do not provide fiduciaries with greater protections than they would have with the accounting, including:
    a. Describe or identify the information provided by the fiduciary;
    b. Limit waiver to the acts of the fiduciary disclosed in information provided by the fiduciary;
    c. Limit the indemnity to claims that are not the fault of the fiduciary;
    d. Limit the indemnity to the beneficiary’s share of the claim;
    e. Limit the indemnity to amount that the beneficiary received from the the estate or trust; and
    f. Eliminate joint and several liability for the indemnity.
  3. Send the edited waiver with an explanation and changes back to the fiduciary,
  4. Hold firm.
  5. If necessary, send a letter to the other beneficiaries to diffuse the peer pressure.
  6. When all else fails, let the fiduciary file the accounting.


Posted in Charitable Deductions, Charitable Trusts, Wealth Planning.