Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Our Mom Just Passed Away And There Are 3 Family Members In Her Living Trust. One Family Member Wants To Try And Sell Her House. Two Family Members Are Against It. My Question Is: Do All Three Family Members Need To Agree And Are All Three Signatures Required On The Final Paper Work?

Asked on 2/05/14, 12:02 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Neal Rimer Neal M. Rimer, Esquire

Take a look at the trust and see who is named as the successor trustee. That is the person who is usually responsible for handling all the administrative work and then distributing assets to the named beneficiaries. I suggest that the named successor trustee retain an attorney familiar with the administration of trusts to get advice and what needs to be done and how to do their job legally and to avoid any liability. It is an expense of the trust for the trustee to be represented. Also, the trustee will need to keep track of their time and render an accounting to all beneficiaries. The accounting begins as of the date of death. Legal notices need to be sent out to all beneficiaries within 60 days of death. There is work to be done! Proper advice to the trustee will avoid all sorts of problems. Should you wish to speak with me, feel free to call.

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Answered on 2/05/14, 12:07 pm
Joel Selik

The trust should determine who has that authority.

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Answered on 2/05/14, 12:08 pm
Julie Mains Mains Law Office

I am sorry to hear of your loss. These can be difficult times and especially when siblings start disagreeing. The best advice I can give is to tread carefully and properly to preserve relationships. The Trust will dictate who is the successor trustee. If there are three beneficiaries and two want to retain the real property, the solution many times is for those two to "buy out" the other by distribution of other cash assets as part of the distribution schedule or in another manner in order to retain the real property. Any estate planning attorney can provide assistance in this regard. Good Luck.

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Answered on 2/05/14, 12:47 pm

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