- In New Jersey, a trustee may close out and finalize a trust by filing an Action for the Settlement of Accounts with the Superior Court.
- A trustee settles an account by filing a complaint and accounting with the Superior Court Chancery Division, pursuant to N.J.S.A. § 3B:17-3 and R. 4:87.
Although N.J.S.A. § 3B:23-24 requires a release and refunding bond from each beneficiary to close out an estate, there is no such requirement for trustees. Instead, a complaint may be filed at least twenty days “prior to the day on which the trust account is to be settled.” R. 4:87-2. Additionally, it must include an accounting, which contains the balance of the trust corpus, any changes in the assets or investments, the allocation of expenses, and a computation of the requested commission. NJC R. 4:87-3.
There is an exception to this rule for trustees that have been discharged from this responsibility by their beneficiaries. N.J.S.A. § 3B:17-1; R. 4:87-9. A trustee does not need to file an accounting with the court to close out a trust if they instead file a written release from their beneficiaries, so long as the beneficiaries “[have] reached majority and [are] not incapacitated.” N.J.S.A. § 3B:17-1; R. 4:87-9. Otherwise, a trustee must file an Action for the Settlement of Accounts with the Superior Court to close out a trust, unless the trustee has been released from this responsibility by their beneficiaries.
To discuss your NJ trust matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County,