Can someone explain this to me , it is from a revocable living trust " Upon death of surviving Settler , the residence or home of
the surviving Settler may at the discretion of the trustee be retained in the trust estate for use by 1 or more successor beneficiaries or their children or sold or rented to a 3rd party . .. what I want to know is does this mean that the successor trustee can live in the home rent free for however long they choose ? My father passed 3 years ago and my bro . ( the trustee ) says he can live there and not pay rent to the trust .
I first note that wthout reading the entire trust any explanation will be somewhat speculative. With that caveat in mind and assuming as you've said that your brother is both a trustee and beneficiary the following considerations are in order.
The trustee has the duty to collect and protect trust property. The trustee has the duty of undivided loyalty to trust beneficiaries. He is to to treat all beneficiaries impartially. These duties can be modified by the trust instrument itself. The Trustee appears to be favoring his own interests over those of the other beneficiaries. There are a number of other duties that the trustee's actions might violate. Again, there is too little information here. You should seek local counsel. California law provides various remedies for a trustee's breach of his/her fiduciary obligations. Local counsel knowledgeable in trust law can fully explore this with you.
This is a general answer only and you should seek the advice of counsel to address facts specific to your circumstances.
I agree with Attorney Hackard. You should take a copy of the trust to a local trust attorney for review, along with the specific facts surrounding your situation. After your consultation, you'll be able to make a well informed decision on how to proceed. There is simply not enough information here to provide you a clear answer.
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Attorneys Hackard and Gold are correct. You should bring a copy of the Revocable Trust to an experienced California trusts and estates attorney. He or she can review the terms of the trust and advise you of the best means of protecting your beneficial interest therein. Good luck to you.
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