My mother put her home in a trust, with my brother and I as beneficiaries. My brother lived in the house with my mother (rent free) for many years and is still living there. He is the successor trustee and has done nothing in the last year to either sell the house (and distribute the proceeds to the two of us) or even to transfer title out of the trust to the two of us. It seems clear that he is stalling so he can continue to live there rent free. The trust is very clear "Upon settlor's death, this trust shall terminate. All property . . . shall be distributed to the settlor's issue by representation."
You may need a litigation attorney that specializes in trust and estate matters. It sounds as if there may be a claim that your brother has breached his fiduciary duty as trustee - however, you will want an attorney that specializes in this area to review all facts and circumstances.
If your mother's estate is being represented by an attorney, you may wish to start there. Hopefully your mother's attorney can give the trustee advice about the proper fulfillment of his duties.
Stop waiting for Godot. You need to immediately retain an estates litigation attorney to bring an action for an immediate removal for cause as trustee, a complete accounting and perhaps pursue back rent. For removal for cause, please see my article entitled Pennsylvania Probate: Removal of Personal Representative Under PA Estates and Fiduciary Code at the following link: http://www.sjfpc.com/Probate_Removal_Executor_Trustee_PA_Probate_law.html Even though this relates to PA law most states have similar rules.
Hope this helps.
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is [email protected] , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is
LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is [email protected] , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. 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 jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you 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 omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.
I agree with the other responses. Sadly, the only way this is likely to get sorted is in probate court. That may delay proceedings further and cost more. But there is no other way that I know to light a fire under your brother. By doing this, he runs the risk of being removed as trustee and surcharged by the court for breach of fiduciary duties.
Best of luck to you!
I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of 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 the subject area in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline