Does a trustee have a legal right to charge rent to a beneficiary?
2 Answers from Attorneys
It depends on the terms of the trust instrument, to determine what powers and duties have been given to the trustee. Further, it would help to understand whether the beneficiary residing in particular trust property is a specific beneficiary of that property, entitled to an immediate distribution, or whether the trustee is to continue to hold that property for a time and make that property earn money on behalf of the trust.
The simple answer is "yes" unless the beneficiary is entitled to a distribution of the property to them that the trustee is illegally withholding. it would also make little or no sense if the trustee was obligated to disburse all income of the trust and there was only one beneficiary. Otherwise it is perfectly legal. In fact the trustee would be obligated to charge one beneficiary rent if there were more than one beneficiary and they were all entitled to distributions of income from trust assets. You don't think one beneficiary would have a right to live rent free, and the other beneficiaries get nothing, when the property could be rented out and generating income, do you?
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