How to best protect Trust property?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2011

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How to best protect Trust property?

There are 3 siblings who are entitled to a home their mother left in a “Living Trust”. I am the Trustee and want to transfer the home from the Trust to them in equal parts. However, 1 sibling has credit issues/loans to be repaid. If this sibling’s name is put on the deed, am I correct in assuming that a lien can be put on the house to collect this debt? This would jepardize the interests of all parties. Can I put the home in the name of the 2 other 2 siblings and prepare some type of legal documentation that protects the interest of the sibling with the debt (i.e. if the home was ever sold)? Or, if all agreed leave the home in the Trust, how would that affect me as the Trustee?

Asked on January 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  You as trustee are given great power under the law to do as you see fit to protect the interest of the trust and the trust property.  That means if you think that it may be best to leave the trust property inside the trust - and thereby leave the trust intact - so that it is not attached by creditors or its value diminished in any way, then you can make that decision.  I would suggest, however, that you seek counsel from an attorney in your area to help you with all of this.  You should be permitted counsel and the trust should foot the bill.  Good luck to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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