Mother's house left in trust - Posted by Vince

Posted by Vince on July 30, 2007 at 24:07:25:

Thanks for your second reply!! Now I feel like I’m in the loop and why my brother the trustee is dragging his feet.
My mother had a stroke and as a result brain surgery, roughly 10 years ago. Then rehab, nursing homes and skilled facilities. In the process all of her assets were depleted except for her house which was protected by the trust.
In the mean time my brother, the trustee has had quite a few emotional, legal and financial problems mostly relating to his divorce after 3 children and 20 years of marriage.
He has an alcohol problem and has been arrested a couple of times and filed 2 bankruptcies. He doesn’t open his mail or deal with anything that has to do with finances.
Thanks to you I have a place to start and a much better understanding of this process. I will be putting in a call to the attorney that drew up the trust.
I’ll keep you posted…

Mother’s house left in trust - Posted by Vince

Posted by Vince on July 28, 2007 at 01:09:56:

My mother’s house was left in trust to myself and my 2 brothers in NYS. I live out of state (in TN) and it’s been 10 months since she died and the 2 brothers are renting the house. It was agreed the house was to be sold. I have received 2, $200 checks that came from the rent that was collected (rent is $900/month. I have not had any say in what’s being done or any accounting of the money or any idea of when it will be put on the market.

Being I own 1/3 of this house, do I have any rights?

More Info - Re: Mother’s house left in trust - Posted by Vince

Posted by Vince on July 28, 2007 at 19:31:37:

Thanks for your responses. I found my copy and it states that the term of the Trust shall be distributed equally upon the Grantor’s death (my mother) which occured 10/06. Myself and my 2 brothers are named to share and share alike.

The trustee is one of my brothers. It doesn’t specify a time frame, so I am at his mercy as to when he decides to sell the house?

Re: Mother’s house left in trust - Posted by ill H

Posted by ill H on July 28, 2007 at 17:17:34:

Another thing to add to what Jimmy posted. Read the trust agreement and see who has the right to give directions to the Trustee. Whomever has that right is the only voice that the trustee has to listen to.

All the Best,

Bill H

Trusts 101 - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on July 28, 2007 at 06:26:28:

a few things you need to learn about trusts:

  1. you are NOT a 1/3 owner of the house, until the house is distributed from the trust. you are a 1/3 beneficiary of the trust that owns the house. a HUGE difference.

  2. the only person why has a “say” in the management of the house is the TRUSTEE, and that apprarently is not you.

  3. who saId the house is supposed to be sold? if the trust instrument does not mandate the sale, then those words mean NOTHING.

  4. you need to get a copy of the trust instrument. read it CAREFULLY. Iit will answer a lot of your questions.

  5. it is VERY common for trusts to reuqire a couple years to be settled after the death of the trustmaker.

  6. NOTHING you described above is at all suspicious to me, and I practiced law in thei particular area for 20+ years.

  7. Chill out and educate yourself.

Re: More Info - Re: Mother’s house left in trust - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on July 29, 2007 at 06:54:46:

Trusts are not automatic. They have to be administered, just like probate estates. There are final income tax returns for the decedent, trust income tax returns for the admin period, followed by a final trust income tax return. and there may have been a requirement to file a Form 706 (Federal Estate Tax Return–even if no tax due). If so, the trust CAN’T be closed until a closing letter is issued by the IRS.

You have NOTHING to complain about. not yet, anyway. You are 9 months onto the admin period. could easily go into next year. relax.

and yes, you are at your brother’s mercy in some respects. but that is EXACTLY what your mother wanted. and her wishes are the only ones that matter. that’s not to say brother does not have responsibilities to you (to be fair, not to self-deal, to render periodic accountings --annually is norm)…