Q: Can I now legally leave a property to someone (as of my death) if the property has not yet been distributed to me?
The creators of the Trust have died, and one of the beneficiaries is the designated Successor Trustee. The said Trustee is instructed explicitly to distribute the Trust assets as described. It has been over 10 years and he hasn't done so. There are no provisions in the trust documents that suggest any delays of distribution. One of the assets is a property bequeathed to me. Unless and until I can get the property distributed to me, is there a way for me to legally leave the property to someone upon my death? I want to be sure the Successor Trustee can't pre-empt my decision.
A: You can provide in your estate planning documents that any real property obtained from this trust pass to the person you designate. However, the more immediate concern seems to be obtaining the property from the Trust. I recommend reviewing the language of this Trust with an attorney to verify that the trustee is acting in accordance with the instructions of the Trustor(s). If he is not, he can be compelled to act or, in some cases, he can be removed. Your attorney will let you know your legal rights once he or she knows all of the facts.
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