Is a real estate contract binding if the property is in the name ofa trust but only the trustee’s name is listed as the seller?

UPDATED: Mar 8, 2012

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Is a real estate contract binding if the property is in the name ofa trust but only the trustee’s name is listed as the seller?

The property is listed in my father’s name as, “The [Name Redacted] Living Trust, [Name Redacted] Trustee”. He signed a real estate contract to sell a piece of property but the seller’s name listed is just his, and does not make reference to the Trust. No deposit was given by the buyer, and he would like to cancel the contract. Is the contract legally binding?

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your father is the trustee of the trust, the contract signed by him for the sale of a trust asset as written is valid and binding. The reason is that a person has to act on behalf of the trust that is selling the property because the trust is not a living person. It is an entity.

I suggest that when your father signs future paperwork he sign as "trustee" for the specific trust, that is the seller of the property.

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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