can my sister who is in charge of my late father’s Trust, remove items like furniture and such from his home and give them away?

His Will states that everything goes to my 2 sisters and I.

Asked on April 15, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You mention a trust and a will--are they separate, or was the trust set up by the will? If the trust was set up by the will (a "testamentary trust"), then the trustee must follow the will terms in relation to the trust. If she does not, you could file a legal action in chancery court seeking a court order forcing her to obey the terms of the will (and to return, or reimburse the trust for, anything taken).
If the trust was set up while your father was alive (an "intervivos trust") anything owned by the trust is not subject to the will and the trustee may do anything with them that the terms of the trust permit. Similarly, anything not in such an intervivos trust is not subject to the terms of the trust, but rather passes as per the will.


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