My friends brother was “willed” a home from his Father. His Father setup an irrevocable trust to handle his assets after death. My friends brother kept this property within the trust for almost 24 months, expensing taxes, repairs and other items as trust expenses, then sold the house directly from the trust and is now claiming 100% of the proceeds of the sale of the house. In other words, he charged the trust $20k to maintain the house while it was in the trust (even though it was willed to him immediately after his father died), then sold the house and kept all the profits without transferring the home/title into his personal possession? Is this legal?
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
If the property was transferred to a trust, the assets are not bound by the instructions in the will. The assets go according to the terms of the trust. Any expenses that the Trustee pays for upkeep of an asset are appropriately charged as trust expenses. There are many reasons why the brother may not have received the home. The beneficiaries of a trust may not be the same as a will. Assets are first used to pay off creditors of the estate before distributions of trust assets can occur. Perhaps the trust directed other beneficiary receive distributions before the brother. The brother can request an accounting from the Trustee to determine if the Trustee managed the trust appropriately. If the Trustee refuses to produce the accounting, the brother should immediately retain an attorney before the distributions to the other beneficiaries
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