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How long do you have to claim your interest in a trust, this trust is in place of a will? Is there a SOL bar or laches?

Lapeer, MI |

How long do you have to claim your interest in a trust, this trust is in place of a will? It holds title to property? This has not done to probate? However, it has been 4 years since the individual passed and the trust (will) became effective? Can I file the Trust agreement against the property and will that protect my beneficial interest in case of a sale by the trustees??

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The trust agreement determines when the property is to be distributed. In the absence of clear direction in the trust, as long as the beneficiaries are legally competent, then the property should be distributed as soon as practically possible.

    But no one can tell you your rights under a trust agreement without being able to review it in detail. There is no statute of limitations that would cancel your interest in this trust, under the circumstances you describe.

    Have the trustees otherwise been doing what they are supposed to? Does the trust say to convey the property to the beneficiaries or to sell the property and give the beneficiaries the proceeds?

    I would meet with an attorney and provide a copy of the trust. It is possible that you will need to file a petition with the probate court to compel the trustees to distribute the property, or alternatively, to remove the trustees and surcharge them for any breach of their fiduciary responsibilities.

    Best of luck to you!

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  2. You said in a comment the asset is a business being managed. Aside then from the question of whether or not the trustees are doing their duties there is a question of proper handling of the business. This is a complicated scenario and one that suggests you had better hire a lawyer and fast. Four years gone by is a long time if you had notice of problems along the ways. Further delay will certainly not help.

    No legal representation exists by virtue of this answer. Consult your attorney. Licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois. Circular 230 Disclosure: any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.

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