Can I sell my house while it’s in a trust will?


Q. Can I sell my house while it’s in a trust will?
— Homeowner

A. It’s smart to ask questions about a trust before making any moves.

The trustee of a trust under a will is empowered to sell any assets of the trust, said Steven Holt, an attorney and chair of the taxation, trusts and estates department at Mandelbaum Salsburg in Roseland.

That would include a residence unless the terms of the trust preclude such a sale or impose terms relating to a sale, he said.

“The trustee must act prudently to attract the best offer based on appropriate research as to fair market value and after consulting with qualified professionals in the real estate industry,” Holt said. “A bargain sale not approved by the beneficiaries could be a breach of fiduciary duty.”

You should speak to the attorney who drafted the trust to make sure you understand its terms.

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This story was originally published on March 16, 2020. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.