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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  Real Estate Attorney
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I am a beneficiary in some property that is in a family trust

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I am a beneficiary in some property that is in a family trust so have no ownership and cannot sell. My teenage granddaughter and several friends went to the property without my permission or knowledge and had a drinking party. After the party one of the people drove home, had an accident about 8 or 9 miles from the property which resulted in a serious injury to the passenger and the arrest of the driver for dui. We do not have liability insurance on the property because of the age and condition of the buildings (they are currently grandfathered in so we have damage insurance but cannot qualify for liability). My question is since the party that resulted in the accident was on the trust property is there a liability issue for the trust or for me as a beneficiary of the trust?


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No, no representative of the trust was involved in any aspect of the events or accident. No trustee allowed access to the property. The persons were there trespassing (even if they, or some of them, were related to a trustee or beneficiary). Although premises liability can result even where a trespasser is injured on the property due to a dangerous condition, this injury did not occur on the property. Further, the injury was the result of the driver's negligence, not any representative of the trust. That, plus it can likely be concluded that the injured party assumed the risk of riding with an intoxicated (or possibly intoxicated) person. Thus, the trust would not normally have any liability.

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