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What do I need to do to take over ownership of my folks paid off home that was part of their living trust?

Woodridge, IL |

I'm the successor trustee and need to end the trust this year. My sister doesn't want the home and I have been living in it for the past 6 years and would want full ownership.

I was told by my parents trust atty. that it needed to be dissolved because it was a living trust & both parties are now deceased. My accountant, for tax purposes, also condones ending the trust sooner rather than later. Yes, my sister is the only other beneficiary and yes, I understand I'd have to buy her half out. I wish to stay in the house for now rather than sell. The particulars to make all happen....are what I need tutorage about.

Attorney Answers 3


Your question needs some explaining. Why do you need to end the trust this year? How many beneficiaries of the trust are there? If you and your sister are the only beneficiaries, you will have to buy out her share, or sell the house and divide the balance.

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Not sure of the particulars because if the trust says to distribute the house to you that is what you should do - you can deed the house from the trust to the two beneficiaries then beneficiary one can buy beneficiary two out. Or I suppose you could do it all in one swoop.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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The particulars depend on your ability to buy your sister's share of the property. If you have the cash available, then the present attorney should be able to help you finish that task very easily. If you cannot pay the purchase price with cash, then you will either have to borrow from a lender or buy your sister's share in an installment sale (some people call it buying "on contract") documented by a lawyer like a normal installment sale of real estate.

You have a fiduciary duty to deal fairly with your sister, so you should take steps to show diligence in determining a fair price. I suggest encouraging her to hire her own lawyer to advise her the transaction so that she cannot accuse you of taking advantage of your trustee position later. That may sound crazy, but independent representation can avoid hard feelings later.

This response does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship. This response is intended for general informational purposes. Please established an attorney-client relationship with a qualified attorney for more complete information about your question.

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