Our family trust has 2 co-trustees, can one trustee sell the assets and close the trust without the other?

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Our family trust has 2 co-trustees, can one trustee sell the assets and close the trust without the other?

My brother has been the administrator of the trust income for 20 years since our mother died in 1990. He has complied with all fiduciary duties and made annual distributions and reports to the beneficiaries every year. He now wants to terminate the trust and distribute the remaining funds to comply with the rule against perpetuity, can I stop him from doing that? Our parents still receive occasional income and I still want my share, will that income be part of the estate now even though it used to be part of the trust? Can I still get my share even though I’m not co trustee of anything?

Asked on September 25, 2010 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am confused.  You said your Mother passed away.  The you said "our parents receive income".  Did you mean your Father?  Are you sure that your brother is correct about the rule against perpetuities here?  Only because if your Father is still alive then the rule may not apply yet.  And trustees can generally act alone or together depending on the trust and the law of the state in question.  I think that you need to bring the document to an attorney in your area to review and analyze in light of your assets to get an idea about what to do and how to plan from here.  Good luck. 


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