Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
A trustee has a fiduciary duty to distribute the assets according to the terms of the trust; as such a trustee cannot unilaterally distribute assets to an individual not designated in the trust. However, an heir may "disclaim" all or a portion of an inheritance; it then will pass to the next intended heir; if no designated heir then it would go via the laws of intestate succession (ie next of kin). This can be done before the assets are actually distributed so the trustee can ensure that it is distributed to the correct party. If there is real property involved, then a deed would need to be filed (typically executed by the trustee- a trustee deed) so that it becomes part of the public record pertaining to the party.
Did you have any questions on the above?
The only possible solution, without suing for undue influence, is for the named heir to disclaim the inheritance. If that is the sole heir, and the trustee makes no provision in the event of a disclaimer, then the trust would no longer govern, and the laws of intestate succession would apply.
A deed can only be signed by the original owner of the property, or by an executor/trustee- IF it complies with the terms of the will/trust. A handwritten notarized note by the trustee will not serve to change the terms of the trust- only the settlor may change the terms of the trust. The trustee is obligated to comply with the terms of the trust. If one wins an undue influence lawsuit, the laws of intestate succession then are applicable.
A grant deed can only be used to convey the property to the heirs- or to a third party that purchases it. The trustee does not have the authority to unilaterally sign a deed that is not in conformity with the trust.
It would be a conflict; and a breach of the attorney's ethical duties, to draft a deed that does not comport with the trust; the trustee can also be sued for doing so.
The trustee is obligated to follow the instructions of the trust unless the trust is invalidated.
The third party could be anyone- so long as the property is sold for fair market value; as the trustee has the duty to sell the property for fair value as determined by an independent appraiser. If the trustee is an heir, then that portion can be sold for whatever price the individual chooses unless the trust states otherwise.
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