Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New Jersey

I am listed in my grandmothers will to have a trust set up for 25% of residuary estate until I reach the age of 35, but it also states that the executor/trustee (my aunt) has the ability to access and distribute funds for my support, maintenance, medical care, and education, and states for my aunt to take into consideration my income, assets, and resources in determining distributions. She has said she isnt distributing funds until im 35, but i can send her invoices for her to decide upon her sole discretion. She is pressuring me to sign the affidavit of devisees so she can sell the house. My question is, is it illegal to tell her that im not signing until she agrees to see fit that i receive my 25% before age 35, upon the sale of the house? this is in new jersey, but i live in nc. If it's not illegal, is it reasonable to request an official statement/document stating that if i sign she will give me my 25% before age 35, upon the sale of the house?

Asked on 1/26/22, 4:09 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.

You can make the request but she does not have to accept it. Plus, if you do not sign the affidavit you can run the risk of being responsible if the house is not sold now and its value depreciates over time. This might become a litigated situation and you might be at risk of being responsible for legal fees.

The trustee must act in good faith and her decisions can always be questioned. The terms of the trust agreement control and are reasonable and usually cannot be questioned. I use similar language in the trust agreements I have done for my clients and they have never been overturned.

I suggest you discuss what financial situations might allow an earlier distribution.

Walter LeVine

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Answered on 1/26/22, 4:38 pm

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