What rights does the benefciairy of a Trust have?

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What rights does the benefciairy of a Trust have?

My father died last year. His Trust states that I’m the beneficiary of a rental property. It has 2 tenants still paying rent to my sister/trustee who was to collect the rent hold it for me and then pay me back rent when the deed was under my name. Well, I received the deed by mail and am now the legal owner. However, she’s not cooperating and not paying me back-rent as agreed upon, so I’m taking her to small claims court for the 9 months rent that she owe me. Does she have the right to keep that money?

Asked on July 16, 2019 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

She can use rent money to pay legitimate expenses of the rental property (e.g. insurance, taxes, and repair or maintenance costs, etc.) since, as trustee, she has an obligation to maintain and manage the trust's assets, including the property. But she cannot retain any money beyond that necessary for the property's expenses, since you are the beneficiary and the rent (less the expenses) goes to you.


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