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Real Estate Assets
updated: Jan 17, 2013, 12:04 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

If a real estate property cannot be divided as indicated in a living trust, how are the assets distributed? A portion of the property is supposed to go to one particular beneficiary alone with the remainder divided equally amongst all beneficiaries upon sale. There are county laws in place preventing dividing the land parcel as indicated in the trust.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 364534 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:09 PM

Contact the attorney who drew up the trust.

This is a complicated matter that can't be handled through the armchair advisors here, myself included.


 COMMENT 364535 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:09 PM

Hmmm, hire an attorney/estate planner. You'll get what you pay for... free advice here is worth just that (including my 2ยข worth).


 COMMENT 364539 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 12:22 PM

The land may not be divisible but upon sale is the key in most cases. Definitely speak to a trust attorney.


 COMMENT 364569 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 01:24 PM

See thread: http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=51887


 COMMENT 364593 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 02:04 PM

The asset will be divided upon sale, simple as that.


 COMMENT 364641 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 03:46 PM

Talk to an attorney.

Most likely, you'll end up with 2 options. 1) One person buys out the rest. 2) Property is sold and the money divided based on the size of the pieces described in the trust.

I would suggest that the attorney who drew up this impossible trust should be responsible for covering the legal costs of making this happen. It doesn't sound like something that could have ever been implemented unless it predates the existence of local property laws.

Or are you misinterpreting the trust? Does it actually say that the land is to be divided or does it say Joe Smith gets 60% of the property and Jack, Jill, June, and Jesse each get 10%? That's entirely different. That means the property gets sold, Joe gets 60%, the rest each get 10%. Or Joe buys out the others by paying them each 10% of the assessed value. Or they come to some agreement about how to use/manage the property.

Talk to an attorney.


 COMMENT 364650 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 04:19 PM

HEY not to sound REPETITIVE but PAY for the advice of an Estate Planner who has a law degree specializing in Trusts and Wills and Estates.
Because guess what? You're going to have to sell the house no matter what if you want to divvy up the $$$ that the house is worth. Otherwise, all the beneficiaries will have to agree on who buys out whom.


 COMMENT 364721 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-17 08:43 PM

Thanks for the advice. We are trying to find a lawyer. I just thought the edhat community may have experienced similar situations. Don't think your snarky reply was warranted 650.


 COMMENT 364747 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 06:46 AM

If the parcel can be divided, albeit not the way intended, the parties may reach an agreement that feels equitable. Otherwise, prepare for dueling appraisals of partial parcels, could get messy.


 COMMENT 364751P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 06:58 AM

That eventuality should have been made clear in the trust; good luck getting it sorted out.


 COMMENT 364792 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 08:44 AM

Or, the one who inherits most of the property could buy out the others.


 COMMENT 364796 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 08:48 AM

Failing other possible compromises and agreements among the beneficiaries of the trust the probate court would likely order the property sold and the monetary proceeds divided in accordance with the distribution instructions set out in the trust.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 09:30 AM

Poster, I agree, no reason for a snarky remark because of a legimate question. You're not asking for legal advice, other experiences could be useful. Keep in mind, snarky people are insecure and need to make themselves feel important, take it w/a grain of salt. Good luck with your situation.


 COMMENT 364986 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 03:20 PM

Call an experienced real estate attorney. I recommend Daniel Reicker who is very knowledgeable and helpful. His phone is (805) 966-2440. He is one of the best here in Santa Barbara. He will give you excellent advice. An estate planning attorney would probably ask the real estate attorney for his/her advice anyway.


 COMMENT 365117P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 08:30 PM

The property wasn't necessarily an asset when the trust was written, could have been purchased using other trust assets. Try Daniel Reicker.


 COMMENT 365150P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-18 10:14 PM

It may have to be adjudicated. If it is not clear what is meant oftentimes it will have to go before a tribunal to be understood. I am not an attorney so please seek professional advice to verify what I am suggesting has value. Agreements under law are interpreted against those who drew it up in case of a misunderstanding. My opinion is one worth 2 cents value you it accordingly.
It is as much a sin to take offense as it is to give it. Please try to remember.


 COMMENT 365262 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-19 10:40 AM

My family just did this in Goleta. It took years and the laws all seemed to change when Goleta became a city. By the time we had to sell, the market crashed and we got a low price for the family farm.
Don't spend it all on the lawyers, when each person involved has each of there lawyers write letter to each other, It cost almost $1000 per person from the proceedings of the trust. By the time the money was divided as per the trust agreement, people where upset at the costs. Good Luck.


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