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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 90207
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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In 2005, I bought an interest in an Estate from its heirs.

Resolved Question:

In 2005, I bought an interest in an Estate from its heirs. The agreement was through an instrument titled "Contract for Sale of Land, Mineral Rights and Royalties,
and all other Assets or Monies Received from the Estate of XXXXXXX”. In the contract, I purchased 30% of the assets in the estate. The contract was notarized and filed in the public record.

The proceeds from this contract along with the rest of the inheritance from the heirs were all assigned to a trust, of which the three heirs were named as settlors. In the original contract, the trust is called for with the following:
"It is hereby agreed that there shall be a business organization, the exact type to be agreed upon at a later date, created by the parties hereto; and, that all revenue of any kind received from any of the property and/or assets covered herein shall be deposited into a bank account in that entity’s name...there shall be a 70/30 division agreed to in this contract."

The primary asset of the trust is gas royalties which are now totally owned by the trust [transferred from the estate].

The trust is a revocable trust.

I am not a named settlor of that trust [only a beneficiary], but I did contribute my share [30% of the proceeds in the contract] to it.

There is also a provision in the original Contract for Sale of Inheritance stating the following:
"Any party may demand a split of the assets of said business organization at any time." The business organization is the trust.

The final order for probate was signed in September, 2008, and I have been receiving the proper amount from the estate ever since. I would now like to get out of the trust with my share. My questions:
1`. Can I revoke the trust even though I am only a beneficiary, not a named settlor?
2. Can I rely on the original Contract for Sale of Inheritance to get my share out?
3. Is there a statute of limitations that will keep anyone from challenging the original contract when I try to get my share out?
4. Will a court action be necessary, or can I just demand that the trustee give me my share of the royalties?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purpose only.

If your trust and contract states that any party may demand a split, then as part of that contract where you bought a beneficiary share, you could demand the split of the assets without being settlor, even though this would not have to revoke the trust.

The contract for sale would be what you need to use to pull out your share of the trust as the trust states based on the wording of the contract you posted above.

The statute of limitations for breach of contract in Texas is 4 years from date of breach and they would have to prove somehow you did not follow the contract, which you are going to do by following the terms so they will not have much of an argument.

If the trust will not honor the terms of your contract and the trust to allow you to pull out of the trust, then you have to go to court to get the assets out of the trust.



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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 90207
Experience: Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
Law Educator, Esq. and 11 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I have a few follow-up questions.


You state "If the trust will not honor the terms of your contract and the trust to allow you to pull out of the trust..."


 


Who in the trust would decide this? Would the trustee have the power to make this decision based on the contract and law, or would there have to be a vote of the other settlors and/or parties? If a vote is necessary, would a majority vote be sufficient, or would it have to be a unanimous vote?


 


Would it be necessary to give legal notice to the other parties, or can the trustee handle it all by simply following the law and the contract?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, the trustee makes all decisions for the trust. They manage and control the trust and are responsible for following the terms of the trust.

If the trust does not say it requires a vote, then the trustee can decide all by themselves as they have ultimate power to run the trust.

They do not have to give notice to other parties unless the trustee chooses to do so.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

One last question.


The trust states:


"This trust may be modified by a vote of the
beneficiaries in which 30 votes (unanimous) are cast for such
modification. The trustee is not authorized to modify the trust in any way without a vote among the beneficiaries in which 30 votes are cast in favor of such modification."


 


Does removing my share from a previous contract meet the standard of "modification" of the trust; thereby requiring a unanimous vote of the other voting members? Would revocation of the trust fall under the same standard? If so, how do I get out of this trust with my money and other property?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your updated information.

If the trust has a voting provision to modify the trust a vote must be taken only to modify, since it is your contract and not the trust that provides you can exit at any time, you have to give notice to the trustee and the trust has to actually honor your contract, since your contract with the trust does not have any vote provision in it, only the trust has a provision to vote but then only to modify the trust.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 90207
Experience: Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
Law Educator, Esq. and 11 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your prompt and on point answers. You really helped me understand my position. Have a great day!

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you very much.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 90207
Experience: Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
Law Educator, Esq. and 11 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

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