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Can a trustee live, rent free, in a trust property claiming their right to do so is to be payment for their services?

Las Vegas, NV |

IN Nevada, trustee/beneficiary continues (11 months and counting since Settlor's death) to live in a trust property, fully furnished with Settlor’s personal effects, against one beneficiaries (there are three) wishes claiming her right to do so to be considered payment for her services. The trust provides that trustee be paid an annual fee which is reasonable. Trust is to be distributed at death of settlor. No attempt has been made by trustee to sell properties.
The powers and discretion granted to the Trustee are exercisable only in a fiduciary capacity.
This situation obviously gives incentive to trustee to never distribute the trust assets. I wish to demand the trustee remove herself from the premises, taking with her only her personal property and to never utilize the property on a personal base again. I also want her to deposit an amount into the trust account to compensate for the difference between the trust provided reasonable amount and normal rent in the area.
Can I expect success by petitioning the probate court if she refuses?

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Attorney answers 2


If a trustee is entitled to "reasonable compensation" under the trust instrument, the key question -- as you have already concluded -- is whether the value of the rent-free occupancy of a furnished home exceeds the compensation to which the trustee is entitled. If the trustee is not complying with the terms of the trust, is not exercising due care in the administration of trust assets, or is not being impartial to all beneficiaries, the court can reduce or eliminate the compensation to which the trustee would otherwise be entitled to. A trustee can be required to pay the trust for benefits not covered by the amount of court-approved compensation. It is impossible to predict the chances of success in court, but from the facts you have given, it would appear that your position is sound and that a petition under NRS Chapter 153 is justified.

IMPORTANT: My reply is intended solely as general information, and it is not legal advice. Legal advice is given only to clients who have engaged The Rushforth Firm, Ltd. ("the Firm"), and you are not yet a client of the Firm. The firm never provides investment, financial, or accounting advice. It is impossible to provide reliable advice on web pages, in the print media, or even personal e-mail messages because (1) laws vary from state to state and from year to year, (2) many laws have exceptions that may or may not apply, and (3) the facts, circumstances, and the provisions of applicable legal documents make each situation unique. Do not rely on my reply to decide whether or how you or anyone else should act or not act. Before acting or refraining from acting, you should engage and consult with an advisor who is experienced in the appropriate field, licensed in the state whose laws apply to the situation, and familiar with the facts and circumstances of your specific situation.


"Can I expect success by petitioning the probate court if she refuses?"
Whenever you are dealing with the court, you cannot reasonably expect anything, but based on the facts you've recited, it would not be foolish to ask the court for the relief you've described.

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