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If a trustee signs a lease to own agreement on property thats in a trust, is it a binding legal contract

Lancaster, MA |

the question is the property was left to someone else in trust/will, but that person died many yrs ago, so trust did a lease to own contract with the person that was now going to get property. because of the death of that person. and the trustee made out the contract to a beneficiarie of the trust

Attorney Answers 4


  1. There is no doubt in my mind that you need a local attorney to review the will --I think you refer to a testamentary trust, however, I am not certain especially since you've tagged this as "Living Trust". It is impossible to give definitive advice without reviewing the relevant documents. Best of luck to you.

    Answer given for general advice and is not a legal opinion, which would require an analysis of the facts and circumstances as well as the applicable law and regulations.


  2. The short answer is that yes - a trustee and/or personal representative can enter into binding contracts in some cases. However, it is unclear from the description exactly what has happened. Further, just because a trustee or personal representative MAY enter into a binding contract does not mean that 1) s/he had the power to do so in this instance; and 2) that the contract was properly drafted and executed.

    You should have an attorney review the documents (for free) and advise you on what, if anything, you can do. My firm certainly handles these matters, as do many attorneys you can find using the "Find a Lawyer" link above.


  3. The answer of if a trustee is able to bind the trust is either in the Uniform Trust Code or the Trust itself. More than likely, the trustee has the authority to bind the trust. That said, your question is somewhat cryptic. I am not sure if you have a trust or a Will. If it is just a Will, without trust language, then the answer might lean more toward no, the PR doesn’t have the authority to lease. Either way, the trustee/PR needs to have the documents reviewed so that they will know what their authority/responsibility is surrounding the decedent’s wishes.

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have an office in Reading. My practice is focused in the areas of elder law, 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. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended 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 transaction or matter addressed herein.


  4. You would need to sit down with an Estate PLanning Attorney and review all of the Estate Plan Documents. The Trust should set forth the terms as well as the powers/authority of the Trustee. Whether or not the Trustee was within its discretion to enter into such an agreement would be determined by the documents themselves and/or the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code. Best of luck to you.

    Legal disclaimer: DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged and/or wherein the legal issue arises; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State in which your particular issue has arisen.

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