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What does this paragraph mean ? Upon death of surviving settler the principle residence or home of surviving settler

Long Beach, CA |

may at the discretion of the trustee , be retained in the trust estate for use by one or more successor beneficiaries or their children or it may be sold to qualified buyer or rented to a 3rd party . It is understood however that a beneficial interest in the home may for a period of time be held by the trustee for 1 or more successor beneficiaries who may or may not be living in the home , and that any such home or interest therein that is retained by the trustee shall be part of the principal of the trust estate created here under . All taxes , insurance maintenance and expenses concerning such home shall be paid from the respective trust estate . Does this mean that the trustee can live in the home rent free for as long as they want ?

Attorney Answers 3


Respectfully, the quoted provision is ambiguous and cannot be interpreted in a vacuum irrespective of the other terms of trust and the present facts. If you need legal advice with respect to your interest in the trust, or as trustee, you will need to consult with trust counsel. If you are a beneficiary -- no matter what the provision means -- unless you are willing and able to take legal action the trustee will continue to act as the trustee sees fit.

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I agree with Attorney Daymude. If the trustee is also a beneficiary, then the trustee may be included in the quoted passage. There are red flags, however, because the Trustee is subject to fiduciary duties and cannot simply do what they want. It is impossible to tell whether an inappropriate line has been crossed, based on the limited information provided, however.

James Frederick

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Without seeing the rest of the trust it is very difficult to give a direct answer. A good attorney will not only review the trust, but also discuss the family dynamics to see what problems the trustee can forestall. If you haven't already, look for an attorney to assist you with the administration of the trust. You should expect to pay around $2,000 for most simple trust administrations.

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