Minneapolis, MN asked in Real Estate Law for Minnesota

Q: my husband has a cabin that is in a trust from his mother that names he and his brother as trustees. can he sell it

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III

A: It probably depends on the terms of the Trust instrument. If your husband and his brother are co-trustees, his brother's consent may be required to permit a sale. If the Trust instrument was well drafted, it may have a provision for resolving disagreements between the co-trustees. If so, those provisions would have to be followed before sale. If not, the co-trustees may be deadlocked and a court would probably have to resolve the problem.

If your husband is the sole trustee, and his brother the successor trustee, he may be able to sell if the Trust grants him the discretion to do so. He would need to be careful to act for the best interest of all the beneficiaries and within the bounds of permitted discretion or he could become liable for breach of fiduciary duty.

Your husband should take a copy of the Trust instrument and consult an experienced trust lawyer for guidance in his specific situation. He should also check the terms of the Trust for attorneys fee provisions. Often a Trust is set up to pay for the attorneys' fees of the trustee, if needed. Good luck.

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