Who owns a house that is in a Trust if the beneficiary dies??

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who owns a house that is in a Trust if the beneficiary dies??

A mother transferred her home to herself in Trust for her adult son. However, the son predeceased his mother. Do the adult children of the son have any rights to the home?

Asked on July 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no general answer: a trust is a creature of the words and documents that created it, and so what happens to it is determined by those documents and language. For a definitive answer, bring the trust docuuments to an attorney to review in detail with you. That said, the snippet of language you quote ("in trust for her son and their heirs and assigns forever") implies that the trust remains in existence and is now managed, according to the rules or instructions in the trust document(s) (e.g. regarding use or sale of the home) for whomever (children? siblings?) will inherit from the deceased son.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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