Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hi and welcome to JA. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you today.Let me confirm here which houses are part of the trust and which were transferred directly.If I understand your posting the house that you are living in or were living in was transferred to you and not part of the trust.
Brother #1 is seeking rent from a house that has been in your name as well as one that other brother has been living in but titled under the name of the trust.Is that correct
If you can give me more information I will be glad to respond and help you.
My father and I believed that quitclaiming the house to me took it out of the trust. However the trust lawyer that wrote the trust says it remained in the trust, because no additional paper was filed to explicitly remove it from the trust.(Even though the same lawyer handled the quitclaim he did not advise us of that.) I have agreed that the assessed value of the house is still part of the trust and that it is my distribution.
Yes, in answer to your question, rent on both properties.
Here you would want a release in return for you paying the brother his share here of funds from sale.Law..
A trustee is not liable to a beneficiary for breach of trust if the beneficiary consented to the conduct constituting the breach, released the trustee from liability for the breach, or ratified the transaction constituting the breach, unless: (1) The consent, release, or ratification of the beneficiary was induced by improper conduct of the trustee; or (2) At the time of the consent, release, or ratification, the beneficiary did not know of the beneficiary's rights or of the material facts relating to the breach.
Here is the entire Washington Trust Code it deals with many of these issues including duties, damages, etc that might come up here.
Your other option is to try and resolve this with brother for a sum and get a written release.You always have right to try and resolve this even if you disagree anything is owed.
Thanks again and good luck here with all.Please let me know if you have more follow up here.Good luck with the brother.
Thank you for your answer.
Below is the response I got back from my brother Steve.
In my opinion his request for rent is out of line and at best just a punitive measure against my brother Stuart. I don't believe I should pay him rent as my house was passed on to me before father died, but appraised value is still included for total value to the estate/trust. As for the cost of water heater and carpet cleaning that is just part of preparing the house for sale and part of maintaining the property.
What are your thoughts?
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Ray this is my planned answer back. Any red flags?
I have given your requests due consideration and have consulted with others that have experience with these matters. The overall conclusion is that I have acted rightly in carrying out the intent of the Trust and the desires of our parents. That is in fact the reason why Mom and Dad chose me to be Successor Trustee. They knew I would act in a fair and balanced manner no matter how hard that might be. Most of all they knew I would not be swayed by the thinking of others and would hold true to their wishes and the historical manner in which they dealt with their affairs. Their credo essentially boils down to; take care of others, don't ask for more then what you have earned and do the right thing.
All of your requests have had the nature of self enriching yourself or seeking some sort of punitive damages against Stuart and myself. Further more your disparaging and accusatory remarks certainly go against their thinking. Frankly this is not what our parents would have wanted. However this sort of behavior was foreseen by them and is the exact reason why there is a disinheritance clause in the Trust.
As for you using data from Zillow as a realistic vs. theoretical is invalid. Many more considerations would have to be made not just what factors Zillow uses. All of which would devalue the property from what Zillow knows of the neighborhood.
It is in fact normal for a landlord to pay for things such as a failed Water Heater and the cleaning of carpets. However I am willing to charge that back against Stuarts distribution as wear and tear on the property, although it is not a normal charge to a tenant and Stuart has agreed. Note that this action does not take effect unless you consent to finalizing the Trust.
Bottom line is the Trust only has so much value. That has been determined.
Should you elect to follow through with your threats to remove me as Successor Trustee or to challenge the provisions of the Trust, certainly could put the disinheritance clause into effect. Case law on these matters historically runs both ways and depends on the Judge. You should also be aware that I have a list of people that will stand up on my behalf and backup what our parents wanted. I strongly suggest you take the deal I have offered and lets put this behind us. To do otherwise would only reduce the value of the Trust of which I'm sure you are aware.
I would really like to finish this in all of our favors, as is. I owe it to Mom and Dad to carry out what they wanted. Simply that their three sons don't fight and share the remaining assets as they desired. This is not about, what should have been or what could have been or what might have been. It is about what Mom and Dad deemed to be right and proper, the fair division of their remaining assets after their death. Lets do it right!
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