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What can I do to stall the sale of real property placed in a trust which I am a beneficiary of in order to buy the property?

Grants Pass, OR |

Trustee is the atty who prepared trust. I am only child of mother father. Father passed in 2006 mother just passed 2013. Property was listed for sale and offer made for full price. Other benefactors are and my half brother and cousin and my two daughters who get 10% each and then we split remainder three ways. Trust changed 3 MONTHS BEFORE SHE PASSED.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. The trustee has an obligation to act in accordance with the trusts terms. If the trust directs that the property be sold and someone else has made an offer there is little you can do now.

    However, you mention that the trust was changed near the end. This raises the possibility of undue influence and other potential irregularities. These may give you some rights, but you will need to sit down and talk to an estate planning attorney immediately. Use the Find a Lawyer function to find one near you.

    This answer, any comments, and other contributions on this website are intended solely as general legal information and are not intended as legal advice. This attorney is licensed to practice law in Oregon and Federal Courts, and makes no representation regarding the law of other jurisdictions. No attorney-client relationship is created by any post to this site and no warranty is made regarding any information provided. Legal advice will only be given upon the establishment in writing of a formal attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney if you want to have this advice.

  2. It is difficult to answer this kind of questions without seeing the trust and the changes made. You seem to be saying that the change made may have been influenced. I recommend that you take the trust to an attorney for review and advice.

    Matthew C. McKean

  3. There are at least two different issues here:
    1. Your purchase of the property;
    2. Your mother changing her estate plan close to death.

    To purchase the property, make a written offer. The Trustee will sell it to the highest bidder. You can be the highest bidder, especially if most of the money comes back to you.

    To challenge the change in the estate plan, you will need proof: documents and witnesses.
    In both issues, go see an attorney immediately.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER James Oberholtzer is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the States of Illinois, Oregon and Washington. He has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. His law practice focuses on business, estate planning ( Wills and Trusts), probate administration, tax,real estate and tax exempt organizations. The foregoing statements do 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 the subject area in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.

  4. To elaborate on James' answer, as a beneficiary, you are entitled to your allocated percentage of the trust distribution, which includes your share of the potential sale proceeds. If you otherwise qualify for financing, depending on the amount of your share of the estate relative to the selling price, you may be able to use your inheritance as a significant part of the down payment. As he suggests, become the highest bidder if you really want it and make your offer subject to obtaining financing if that is the case.

    You may also be able to join forces with your daughters who you say will get 10% each to further enhance your ability to leverage your inheritance. If they don't need cash right away, they may want to "invest" some of all of their inheritance in your new property. You can borrow that money and pay them a better rate of interest than they will get if they just bank it.

    As to the undue influence, did any of the other beneficiaries take your mother to the lawyer who assisted with the changes? A mere change, by itself, doesn't necessarily mean there was undue influence. I would have to know more about what was actually changed.

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