What are the requirementsfor selling a house in a trust?

My husband and his sister have their mother’s house in a trust. She died 4 years ago. My sister is executor and sold the house without my husband’s knowledge. She did not go through a realtor or the trust. The buyer wrote her a check for the sales price. They went and filled out a quit claim deed and it was recorded 6 weeks ago. My MIL paid cash for the house in the 70’s, so there was no mortgage. She then sent my husband a check for less than 1/3 of what she got. My worries are potential tax ramifications to us, since there is no paperwork involved here.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the troubles that have occurred here.  People often get funny when money is involved.  You have a good amount to be concerned about.  Just for clarification, when you say that your sister was "executor" do you mean that she was the trustee of the trust?  And was the house titled in the name of the trust?  Otherwise she could not transfer good title.  Now, she has obviously breached her fiduciary duty.  That is a really big deal.  And she can be held liable for any dissipation of estate assets because of the breach.  So you need to see an attorney immediately and figure this out.  Good luck.


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